Hager retains N.C. House seat

Nov. 07, 2012 @ 06:07 AM

RUTHERFORDTON — MIke Hager will serve a second term as the House representative for the 112th District.

Hager defeated political newcomer and Democratic challenger Mark Brown by a 20 percent margin on Tuesday night.

By unofficial vote count, Hager defeated Brown 16,860 to 10,543. The vote count is unofficial until canvassed by the Rutherford County Board of Elections.

“We started out with early polls showing us up slightly so, we had a little work to do,” Hager said.

After counting early votes, Hager started with a 60-40 advantage and held that through Election night.

“It was an issues race,” Hager said. “It was about the economy and bringing jobs back to Rutherford County.”

Brown, on the other hand, was hoping for more split-ticket voting that simply did not pan out over the course of the evening.

“We thought we had an opportunity but, we had to have a lot of split tickets because we knew that Mitt Romney would carry Rutherford County,” Brown said. “When it came to the state ballots, we thought there might be some split tickets.”

During debates and interviews, both Hager and Brown stuck to issues and neither elected to sling barbs at the other. Both said they decided to keep the race about the issues.

“It was about the issues and I knew I wasn’t going to do anything nasty,” Hager said. “It was going to be about the issues and that’s what the people deserve.”

Brown said that the race he ran was “the best race we could have run.”

“We tried to run a campaign of me running as an individual and on my issues,” Brown said.

Now, Hager will enter his second term in the General Assembly.

He said that members of the General Assembly have already started to work on legislation regarding taxes, energy and education reform.

In addition, he said that he hopes to retain his seat as Chairman of Public Utilities as well as seek a possible leadership position in the House.

He said that can only benefit the people of the 112th District.

“As you move up, you give notoriety for good legislation,” Hager said. “I think it gives us a lot more agility and how Rutherford County is looked at.”

With Republicans maintaining a strong majority in the House and the Senate as well as gaining the Governor’s office, Brown said that the GOP will have a lot of work to do, moving forward.

“They have it all and they had better show us what they can do,” Brown said. “People have a tendency to hold people in elected office accountable.”