The Other McCain

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BREAKING: Renee Ellmers Wins Recount; Bob Etheridge to Concede; UPDATE: In Concession Speech, Dem Says He Was Victim of ‘Dirty Politics’

Posted on | November 19, 2010 | 18 Comments

UPDATE 3:50 p.m. ET: Yeah, he’s a victim:

“The combination of the national tide that swept the country, massive amounts of secret corporate cash funding a campaign of distortions, and dirty politics by Washington D.C. partisan operatives was just too much to overcome.”

Full text of Etheridge’s statement here. (A) Etheridge outspent Ellmers about 3-to-1; and (B) since when is it “dirty politics” to ask a Democrat congressman if he supports the Democrat president?

UPDATE 4:05 p.m. ET: Statement from Rep.-elect Renee Ellmers:

“The first words for me to say are ‘thank you.’ It took sacrifices by many fine people working together to make this victory possible. I thank each of them – the people of the 2nd District, the people who volunteered and gave of their time and money and worked selflessly.
“This is the way American Democracy works: Through elections. That, inevitably, leads to debate and conflict which can be bruising. It is, I can now say from experience, at times a harsh endeavor. But it has served our democracy well for over 200 years.
“After receiving a gracious call from Congressman Etheridge, the election is over and rather than debating our problems we begin work on how to solve them and as I begin my part in that work I want to wish Congressman Etheridge and his family the best.
“This election Americans voted to change Washington. And I have been elected to play a role in bringing that change to Congress. I will do all that I can to meet that challenge. I ask for your prayers and I ask you to join me in praying for Congressman Etheridge and his family during this transition. Thank you.”

UPDATE 4:40 p.m. ET: Michael Memoli of the L.A. Times:

Etheridge had been reelected with more than 60% of the vote in each of his last four campaigns, but Ellmers, a nurse, made opposition to healthcare reform a top cudgel against the incumbent. . . .
If all current leads win in [the five remaining undecided House] races, Republicans’ final tally in the 112th Congress would be 243 seats to the Democrats’ 192, a final pickup of 64 seats.
Republicans have not held more than 240 seats in the House since 1949.

Yeah. The biggest GOP majority in 60 years. Not like there’s any kind of “mandate” there, eh?

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. ET: Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) concedes in Raleigh:

“[T]he election recount has concluded, and the numbers confirm that despite the incredible support we had — and neither candidate getting to 50 percent — in the end we came up just a little too short,” Etheridge said. “I congratulate Mrs. Ellmers and wish her well as she prepares to serve the people of North Carolina’s Second District.”
“Every single day since we opened our doors in 1997, my staff and I have worked hard to provide outstanding constituent services to anyone and everyone who needed our help,” Etheridge said. “I’m so proud of my staff for their constituent service to this district. I’m biased, but I think it has been second to none.”

PREVIOUSLY (1:40 p.m. ET): WXII-TV in Raleigh, N.C., reports:

 A recount in North Carolina’s closest congressional race has confirmed a victory for Republican candidate Renee Ellmers.
 State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett said Friday that a recount in the 2nd Congressional District has found that Ellmers defeated Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge by about 1,500 votes.  A recount in North Carolina’s closest congressional race has confirmed a victory for Republican candidate Renee Ellmers.
State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett said Friday that a recount in the 2nd Congressional District has found that Ellmers defeated Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge by about 1,500 votes.

UPDATE: Tim Sahd of National Journal was the first to report that Etheridge is expected to concede at a 3 p.m. ET press conference.

UPDATE II: Etheridge, of course, became notorious for grabbing a student videographer and demanding to know, “Who are you?” And thanks to my friend Joe Marier for making this important point:

Indeed, and let me remind you of Ellmers’ Ground Zero Mosque ad:

UPDATE III: Remember that Ellmers accused the NRCC of being MIA in NC-2. As I noted at The American Spectator, “The victory by Ellmers means that the GOP has scored a net gain of 61 seats in the mid-term election, and Republicans lead in three of the five seats where a winner has not yet been decided.”

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit points out that Ellmers is one of eight Republican women elected to the House this year, a number that we hope will include Ann Marie Buerkle in NY-25. (Via Memeorandum.)

UPDATE IV: Just checked in on the NY-25 ballot-counting where Buerkle is “approaching mathematical certainty” — like Ellmers, Buerkle is a nurse and a pro-lifer, so they’ll be a natural tandem in the 112th Congress.

Meanwhile, back in North Carolina, my source close to the Ellmers campaign was enjoying a delicious homestyle lunch when I called. Ellmers will not release an official statement until after Etheridge’s 3 p.m. press conference.

UPDATE V: Ellmers didn’t get much help from the NRCC. She did, however, get a lot of help from a Mama Grizzly.

UPDATE VI: My Spectator colleague John Tabin pointed out on Twitter that New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino ran a GZM ad. I replied via Twitter that (a) Paladino wasn’t running for Congress, and (b) well . . . go read the rest for yourself.

UPDATE VIISusanAnne Hiller takes a victory lap at BigGovernment.com and Ellmers gets congratulations from Sister Toldjah.

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