ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s Tom McInnis sealed a second term in North Carolina’s State Senate following Tuesday’s election.
District 25, which McInnis represents, includes Scotland, Richmond, Anson and Stanly counties and part of Rowan County.
McInnis, R-Richmond, upset Democrat Gene McLaurin in 2014’s general election, after both candidates ran unopposed in their respective primaries.
This year, McInnis faced off with Democrat Dannie Montgomery of Anson County, leading his opponent with 62.75 percent of the votes compared with her 37.24 percent shortly after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m.
By 10 p.m., McInnis clasped 51,823 votes, winning his home county as well as Stanly and Rowan counties. Montgomery had 29,573 votes and won Scotland and Anson counties.
McInnis and a couple dozen supporters gathered at Ella’s Ballroom in Rockingham late Tuesday night to watch the election returns come in as his lead was solidified.
“It’s very humbling to win by that great of a margin,” McInnis said. “But the thing that’s most humbling is to win here at home in Richmond County. I ran initially on the idea of offering bold and decisive leadership in the general assembly, and specifically in the Senate, and I delivered on that promise, and to be a strong voice for rural North Carolina in the general assembly.”
McInnis said he believes another reason voters stuck by him has to do with a long history of politicians who fail to accomplish important goals.
“People are tired of someone that goes along,” he explained. “That doesn’t do anything. That makes excuses and never produces. And I’m one of those same people. I’m sick and tired of it. I’m certainly not going to emulate that. We’ve been able to get a lot of things done. I foresee that we’re going to get far greater things accomplished in the next term because of the greater ability that I’ll have, being closer to the head table, if you will.”
Asked about the potential outcome of the presidential contest, McInnis said that even though the race was not yet over, voters have sent a message to Washington.
“It’s showing tonight that Trump’s got a chance,” he said. “Again, people are mad. People are tired of the same ole, same ole. They’re tired of people that go along. They’re tired of someone that doesn’t show up and be counted, that skirts the issues, that kicks the can down the road, that doesn’t attack the problem and address the needs of the citizens immediately versus saying they’ll work on it next week. People are tired of it, and I’m tired of it myself. That’s the kind of leadership that we need, and that pretty much sums up what needs to happen — not only in our district here but in our state and in our nation.”
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.