Rep. McIntyre wins recount

Blue Dog Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) will serve his ninth term in Congress after his Republican opponent conceded Wednesday night following a recount that upheld initial election results.

GOP candidate David Rouzer dropped out of the contest, wrapping up one of the last undecided congressional races more than three weeks after Election Day. McIntyre’s initial lead of 655 declined by only one vote following a three-day recount.

“Now that the recount has been completed and the tally of votes is official, we can move forward satisfied that each vote was counted properly and accurately,” Rouzer said in a statement Wednesday night. “I have called Congressman McIntyre to congratulate him on a hard-fought victory, and I wish him well as he joins a new Congress that will be dealing with very difficult issues facing our country.”

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Rouzer came as close as any Republican in 16 years to unseating the conservative Democrat and didn’t rule out a run in 2014, but he said it is too early to speculate.

“To all of those who have encouraged me to run again in 2014, your sincerity means a lot,” he said. “With the Christmas Season upon us, I am setting any thoughts of my political future to the side, refocusing on growing my distributorship and consulting businesses while enjoying the farm and the holidays with family and friends.” 

Rouzer requested a recount last week, citing voting irregularities in one district and a razor-thin margin. But he chose to forgo a sample hand recount Wednesday that could have led to a district-wide hand recount.

McIntyre blasted Rouzer last week for requesting the initial recount funded by taxpayers. The state would have picked up the tab for further recounts as well.

McIntyre is one of 14 Blue Dog Democrats that will return to Congress next year. The coalition’s numbers were nearly cut in half after a string of retirements and defeats resulted from tough redistricting.

Both parties contested the race fiercely, with the Democrats and Republicans spending more in the district than both candidates. The 7th District became more competitive after redistricting process, which Rouzer participated in as a state senator.

McIntyre ran on his experience and his high-ranking position on the House Agricultural Committee. He will likely serve in the committee’s No. 2 position next year.

He weathered a tough election cycle in 2010 that was also tough on Blue Dogs, winning his own race by 6 percentage points.

Rouzer attempted to tie McIntyre to President Obama throughout the campaign in one of the two states that swung back to the GOP in the presidential election.

Republicans will control the House 234-201 next year.

The only other race that remains undecided is in Louisiana, where two Republicans are heading toward a runoff in December, but it will not influence the party makeup next year.

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