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In a race that was watched well beyond New Hanover County, state Sen. Thom Goolsby defeated Democratic challenger Deb Butler to earn a second two-year term representing District 9.
“I’m just very happy. I appreciate all the votes of confidence by the voters of New Hanover County,” Goolsby said after watching the final results come in at Slainte Irish Pub in downtown Wilmington.
New Hanover County’s 43 precincts reported Goolsby with 54.2 percent of the total votes cast—52,362 of 96,614 votes cast. Butler, a fellow Wilmington attorney, received 44,252 votes, or 45.8 percent of the total.
Goolsby said he looked forward to getting back to work on issues including tax reductions, regulatory reform, “getting people back to work and improving education.”
“I understand their concerns,” Goolsby said of the district’s voters, adding that he looked forward to working with them on those issues.
The race for District 9 in the North Carolina Senate attracted national attention as Election Day neared, due in large part to a campaign ad in which Butler wielded a trans-vaginal ultrasound wand. The ad attacked Goolsby’s support of a law that requires ultrasound exams before women can get abortions.
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