Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't blame me for a close election

The following is a fake-out news story.

Buddy Wayne Barefoot insisted today that the close margin in the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat in North Carolina should not be blamed on his decision not to endorse either candidate. The race, which was conducted in Barefoot's home area, is one of 11 still undecided, even three days after the election.

According to the latest returns, challenger Renee Ellmers, a Republican, trails incumbent Bob Etheridge, a Democrat, by about 1,600 votes, or about 1 percent. Etheridge has promised to seek a recount of all ballots if the margin dips below 1 percent when the state reveals its final certified tallies on November 11.

Barefoot insisted that a public endorsement would not have made a difference, but did admit to voting for Etheridge because "I had a feeling" that the GOP framed Etheridge in a video in which he gave an obscene gesture to a staffer who was posing as a reporter. Previously, he had endorsed Etheridge in every election; the two became friends over their shared backgrounds as basketball players at Campbell University.

"A lot of things are as work here," Barefoot explained to the media at Texas Motor Speedway. "First of all was that video that put doubt in a lot of people's minds, including my own and those in my family. Then there was the general trend of Democratic incumbents losing throughout the country. But what has made it close was that [officials in] Sampson County lost 3,000 ballots [on election night]. They counted them and Etheridge gained 443 votes."

He also acknowledged being spooked by a projection of Ellmers' victory by the Associated Press after Ellmers herself declared victory on election night. "I just hope those words don't come back to haunt her or the AP," he told the media.

Barefoot said that he reached out to both candidates and shared his hope that the battle be resolved as soon as possible.

(Photo courtesy of Politico)

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