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Wednesday, 09 November 2016 05:39

Davis hangs tight to N.C. Senate seat

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Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, will keep his seat in the N.C. Senate after an easy victory over Jane Hipps, D-Waynesville, who opposed him for the second election running. 

Davis took home 62.5 percent of the vote in his seven-county district, equivalent to 58,523 votes compared to Hipps’ 35,142. Davis attributes his success to hard work on the part of party chairs and campaigners and to voter approval of his actions in office. 

“I owe it to some strong supporters,” said Davis, who has held the District 50 seat since 2010. “I think my constituents validated what we’ve been doing, so I’m very grateful and honored to serve.” 

Davis’ margin of victory was substantially higher than in 2014, when he and Hipps first faced off. In that race, Hipps took 46.1 percent of the vote and Davis won with 53.9 percent, with Hipps winning the majority in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties and Davis sweeping Graham, Cherokee, Clay and Macon. 

This time around, Hipps did not win a majority in any of the district’s seven counties. 

Davis’ strongest showing was in Graham County, where he won 76.5 percent of the vote. In his home county of Macon, where he served as a commissioner before seeking state office, Davis won 63.8 percent of the vote. In Hipps’ home county, Haywood, she took only 40.5 percent of the vote. 

Hipps attributed her loss to high voter turnout in support of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, who won the state of North Carolina. Trump voters typically vote Republican on downballot races as well.

“I’m disappointed in the results of the election tonight but I’m very grateful for the supporters and the volunteers and all the wonderful friends I’ve made and people I’ve met along the way,” Hipps said. 

The candidates ran a tough race that revealed stark political differences and caused them to clash on everything from school choice to tax policy to Medicaid expansion. A barrage of flyers sent on Davis’ behalf painted Hipps as a Hillary Clinton clone, anti-gun and in favor of tax increase on the middle class. Hipps responded that none of those things are true, calling Davis a liar for not protesting the messaging sent out on his behalf. Toward the end of the campaign, pro-Hipps flyers came out attacking Davis’ actions in Raleigh as unchristian and predatory on the middle class. 

During his fourth term in Raleigh, Davis’ priority will be to continue the efforts of the current legislature. 

“I’d continue our tax reform, regulatory reform and education reform,” Davis said. “We’re going to continue those efforts. Those are all critical and I’m just really proud of the strides that North Carolina has made.”

 

NC Senate District 50

                      Jane Hipps (D)       Jim Davis (R)

Haywood           12,056                   17,711

Jackson             8,205                     9,658

Macon                6,168                    10,883

Swain                 2,516                     3,352

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