Republican Norman Sanderson won strongly in a race against Democrat Greg Muse Tuesday night for the N.C. Senate in District 2.
Unofficial results show Sanderson with 53,434 votes (63 percent) while Muse totaled 31,208 votes (37 percent.)
Sanderson, who is already a representative in the N.C. House for Craven and Pamlico counties, will add Carteret County to his constituency as he takes over the seat held by the retiring Jean Preston.
Sanderson said that the friendships that he gained in the N.C. House would serve him well in trying to pass legislation in the N.C. Senate.
“I’m just totally amazed at the effort that has gone into this election cycle,” Sanderson said. “I’ve never seen the leadership and the people come together and work any harder than they did in this election cycle. They knew that there was a lot on the line, not just statewide but nationwide also. This has been such a team effort. My name might have been on the ballot but there were hundreds of people working behind the scenes.
“When you’ve got a team like that working for you and you got a lot of people praying for you and you do you portion and not leave anything on the table, then the results usually turn out pretty well.”
Muse called the race a “good, clean fight.”
“I’m still impressed with the way things went,” he said. “Naturally there was a lot of time spent and a lot of effort spent and I was real impressed with the workers on both sides being out in this weather. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see how things go and go from there.”
Both men spent Tuesday on a final effort to bring voters to their side, dodging afternoon and evening rain.
Sanderson said he thought he would be worn out by Wednesday morning.
“Today I think you’re just running on adrenalin and so I feel pretty good,” he said. “I’ve been to about 14 of the precincts in all three counties. Carteret County is a big territory, and even Pamlico and Craven are large areas. Square miles, they are all big areas, so I’ve seen first hand what it’s going to be, so that’s part of it. I think on a Senate level, people expect to see you in their communities. I’m looking forward to it.”
Muse said he enjoyed being in all the counties with the people during the race.
“It’s been enjoyable,” he said. “The biggest challenge is just time. There’s really just not enough time. A lot of people like to talk and I enjoy listening to people’s opinions and perspectives on the opinions. You just don’t have enough time to cover all the ground you need to.”
Son of a farmer, Sanderson is in his first term in the N.C. House and is a resident of Arapahoe in Pamlico County with his wife. They have two children and three grandchildren. Sanderson operates a day care in Havelock. Sanderson describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order.”
This is the second time Muse has run for the N.C. Senate. Muse described himself as a conservative Democrat. He is a New Bern native who now resides in James City with his wife and two children. He has been a small businessman in eastern North Carolina for 30 years.