NC7 GOP nomination tips Rouzer's way amid dust-up over TV report about Pantano rally
VERNE STRICKLAND: CONFLICTING VERSIONS OF WWAY-TV REPORT, AND MOOD OF PANTANO'S DEPARTURE SULLY TONE OF ELECTION EVENING.
Despite the turnout at his Wilmington rally being small, Rouzer said he had a good feeling all along.
"There were a number of folks down here in New Hanover County that walked by and nodded their head and said I am with you," said Rouzer.
When his opponent Ilario Pantano first walked into his rally in Wilmington, spirits were high despite Rouzer just pulling ahead in the polls.
Pantano urged his supporters to stay optimistic and no matter what the outcome, continue to fight for what they believe in.
"There's no choice but to get behind whatever the force is to bring conservative values to Washington, DC," said Pantano. "I believe while my opponent and I had a vigorous primary, we still represent a better alternative than a Democrat going back to Washington."
As the night went on, Rouzer was declared the winner but Pantano left his rally without officially conceding. "The fact of the matter is we still don't know what the outcome is so we are waiting to see what the outcome is and then we will evaluate that outcome," said Pantano. (This does not square with WWAY's critical description of Pantano's departure.)
FOR COMPARISON, LINK TO WWAY STORY: http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/05/09/the-rant-pantano-pouts-after-ap-calls-race
But Rouzer said Wednesday is day one of his new campaign.
"We're going to have to raise a bunch of money, we are going to have to get out and work really hard and we are going to go after the Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre. He has been too wrong for too long," said Rouzer.
Pantano said he will take another look at the official results Wednesday morning and then make a decision about his next steps.
Randy Crow came in third place in this race.