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U.S. Rep. Butterfield wins in landslide vote

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield won re-election to his fifth term in Congress Tuesday by a landslide vote over two challengers for the District 1 seat.

Butterfield, D-Wilson, captured 250,582 votes, or 75 percent of the vote. Republican challenger Pete DiLauro received 76,449 votes and Libertarian Darryl Holloman received 6,030 votes. In Wilson County, Butterfield won the majority of votes, 9,986. The election totals are unofficial until a canvass of the votes.

"I’m very appreciative for the voter confidence,” Butterfield said. "This will be my fifth term and the challenges seem to be greater with each session. Once the election is over and we return for the lame-duck session, it is my hope the political parties will try to resolve some of the issues we’re facing.

"We’ve got to work together, Democrats and Republicans, and we’ve got to work on both sides.”

The pending expiration of payroll tax cuts on Dec. 31 and cuts in military spending and other social programs are anticipated to lead to economic turmoil, Butterfield said. Resolving the fiscal challenges is the first priority when Congress reconvenes, he said.

"These cuts are going to be too traumatic for the economy,” Butterfield said. "Congress urgently needs to repeal the drastic cuts scheduled to hit defense and discretionary spending. The future of the economy is largely dependent on our ability to prevent these damaging cuts, and develop a fair and responsible way to reduce our national deficit.”

Butterfield wants to see more bipartisanship and plans to work toward that effort, he said. In his bid for re-election, Butterfield said he remains committed to working to bring federal resources into District 1. He supports increased Community Development Block Grants, resources for public housing and programs for homeless veterans, the elderly and pre-kindergarten children.

"Middle-class families across North Carolina need a fighter in their corner who will defend their access to a high-quality education, affordable health care and good paying jobs,” he said. "I will use this opportunity to continue to fight to protect low-income and middle-class Americans.”

The biggest issue for Butterfield is the creation of jobs and an improved economy.

"Jobs is the big issue right now,” Butterfield said. "The central issue for our country is the need to create jobs.”

Changes will take effect for District 1 in January with the loss of part of Wilson County, including Elm City and Sharpsburg, a part of Edgecombe County and all of Jones County. Durham and Franklin counties will be added to District 1. Butterfield traveled throughout the district Tuesday with stops in several locations, including Wilson.

Butterfield was first elected in a 2004 special election. In the House, Butterfield sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and serves as the chief deputy whip of the Democratic Caucus. He is also the second vice chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to Congress, Butterfield served as a Superior Court judge, North Carolina Supreme Court justice and a civil rights attorney. | 265-7818

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