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McIntyre holding slight edge over Rouzer as official tallies come in

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — By the end of today, ten days after the polls closed, we will finally know the official results of the November 6 election. And if the votes hold the way they stand now, Rep. Mike McIntyre will return to Washington for a ninth term in Congress.

Unofficial results on the North Carolina Board of Elections website show McIntyre holding a 5176-vote lead over Republican challenger David Rouzer in their race for the 7th District seat in the US House. That’s 81 votes more than when the day began.

By 3:20 p.m., out of 335,551 votes counted, McIntyre’s lead represents 0.16 percent of the total. Those results, though, could still change slightly as vote counts are made official in North Carolina today and submitted to the state Board of Elections.

Still, assuming there is no significant change in the numbers, it is likely Rouzer will ask for a recount. If the margin remains within one percent, he will not have to pay for that second tally. In a statement yesterday, Rouzer’s spokeswoman said the campaign would wait for today’s certification and decide where to go from there.

Rouzer’s camp has remained quiet since Election Day, and Rouzer has not spoken publicly since talking to supporters at his Election Night party in Benson. The state senator from Johnston County, though, has been taking part in Congressional orientation in Washington this week, as he is eligible to do because of the close margin in the race. He was even part of a photo yesterday of Congressional freshmen.

McIntyre, meanwhile, basically declared victory around 11:30 p.m. on Election Night despite his razor thin lead in the returns. Earlier this week his campaign sent out a news release saying the Congressman was heading back to Washington to get back to work.

The McIntyre-Rouzer race is one of a handful of US House battles across the country that are still undetermined. They are not likely to have a great deal of influence nationally, though, as Republicans maintained their majority in the House in the election.

Also up for grabs in today’s vote canvassing is the race for North Carolina’s second highest office. Republican Dan Forest leads Democrat Linda Coleman by a margin of 0.24 percent in their contest for lieutenant governor, according to the state Board of Elections website this morning.

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