Photo by Max Cooper
Mark Meadows routed Vance Patterson in the 11th Congressional District Republican runoff election.
The Cashiers real-estate developer won 76 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the North Carolina State Board of Elections tallied July 17.
Meadows’ second primary victory earns him the opportunity to battle Democrat Hayden Rogers for the U.S. House seat in November. The 11th District was redrawn last year to exclude most of Asheville, making it the most conservative political turf in the state.
In an election night speech to jubilant supporters at the Hampton Inn in Fletcher, Meadows thanked campaign staff and volunteers, but left his biggest praise for God.
“I want to give God the glory. I was OK with whatever the outcome was, because I knew he was in control and I wasn’t,” said Meadows. “2012 will be a great year for this country, for the people of WNC. Because we’re going to fight and reclaim America the way that God intended to and the way our founding fathers knew that the Constitution would preserve.”
He also sought to portray Rogers as a Washington insider and tie him to President Barack Obama and the national Democratic Party. Rogers previously worked as incumbent Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler’s chief of staff.
“Hayden’s been up there for six years learning the Washington way,” Meadows asserted. “You can’t distance yourself from the president’s party but go up and vote with him in Washington D.C.”
Despite the conservative demographics of the district and growing support from the national GOP establishment, Meadows also sought to cast his campaign as the underdog against Rogers.
“We are going up against the Rogers–Obama, well oiled, well organized, well funded, machine. And you know what we’ve got to do is be better organized,” he maintained. “You know what we’ve got that he doesn’t have? We’ve got a voice of the people and a grassroots support that no one can equal.”
Meanwhile, the Rogers campaign released a statement congratulating Meadows on the runoff victory.
“However,” Rogers added, “there is a profound difference between who we are; our background, leadership ability, and vision for Western North Carolina and this great nation. I am eager to illustrate those differences to the people of the 11th District and look forward to a spirited and informative campaign.”
Watch the video of Meadows’ July 17 remarks to supporters: