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Newton cruises to re-election victory
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Newton cruises to re-election victory

Republican Sen. Buck Newton cruised to re-election Tuesday against Democratic challenger Clarence Bender.

Newton, 44, faced an undeniably unusual race after his opponent ended up behind bars.

But the incumbent Newton changed nothing about his campaign following Bender’s arrest, opting to remain focused on what he brings to the race.

Bender is currently in the Nash County Jail under a $300,000 bond and stands accused of trafficking prescription drugs.

"I’m happy at the results, honored and pleased that folks have returned me to Raleigh,” Newton said Tuesday night. "I’m looking forward to it.”

The state and legislature have a lot of work to do, Newton said.

Newton also congratulated Susan Martin, who took the N.C. House District 8 seat.

"I know how smart she is,” Newton said. "I look forward to working with her.”

Newton’s district has changed since he took office. He used to represent Wilson and Nash counties. He still does, but the district also includes the northwest portion of Johnston County following statewide redistricting.

In Wilson and Nash counties alone, Newton took more than 62 percent of the vote compared to 37.7 percent for Bender. Johnston County voters cast 14,192 votes for Bender compared to 20,081 votes for Newton.

For the entire district, Newton received 60.8 percent of the votes cast versus 39.2 percent for Bender. There are about 190,000 residents in the district now.

Newton said he’s proud of his work in the legislature, including lawmakers’ work balancing a $2.5 billion shortfall, finding ways to cut taxes and streamlining state government.

Newton cites education reform that began during the short session as important and putting more emphasis on shrinking K-4 class sizes.

He supported the fracking legislation, saying it sparks economic opportunities for North Carolina.

Newton also pulled off a successful legislative maneuver to add an amendment to the state budget to block tolling Interstate 95 for two years. The controversial Department of Transportation plan to toll I-95 has picked up opponents throughout eastern North Carolina.

Newton remains against tolls.

Another big goal for the legislature is comprehensive tax reform, he said.

Bender was arrested earlier in October on drug charges. Bender, 59, is currently a Castalia town commissioner, and has denied the charges against him. He was charged with four felonies, including trafficking opium or heroin and maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for drugs. He told The Wilson Times he never sold drugs and would continue his campaign despite remaining in jail. | 265-7813

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Huh said...

Well my critical thinking skills, lead me to believe that party is more important than integrity. Maybe that is why there is so much corruption in the political system. Maybe if we remove the corrupt people from office, even if it hurts the party, things would get better.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 at 1:07 PM
@duh & said said...

Please sharpen your critical thinking skills. Voting a straight ticket can also mean, "I want that party's agenda in control". Bender and Bibbs were lousy, losing candidates - most Democrats knew that. But the Republican party agenda, in the minds of those who voted a straight ticket, is a loss as well. For example "common sense" Buck (the one who thinks gay people have the right to marry, i.e., he told me with great glee, "gays can just marry straight people") says in this article he's impressed with Susan's "smarts". Since Buck's smarts are rather questionable, it wouldn't take a lot for Susan to best him in this category.

Thursday, November 08, 2012 at 9:28 PM
said said...

Just to show you that 33,268 voters are just stupid

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Witness the power of the Almighty Straight Ticket Voter!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 4:49 PM
huh? said...

33,268 people voted for a drug dealer?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012 at 2:22 PM
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