Coates takes 66 percent of votes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By Steve Huffman
Rowan County voters returned state Rep. Lorene Coates to office Tuesday, the incumbent easily out-distancing Dr. Ada Fisher, her Republican challenger.
Coates, a Democrat, garnered 19,956 votes or 66 percent of all ballots cast in the District 77 race. Fisher, a retired physician, captured 9,893 votes.
“It went about like I thought it’d go,” Coates said, referring to a poll she financed in early September that indicated she’d capture about two-thirds of the vote.
“We just worked hard,” she continued. “You always run like you’re behind.”
Coates, elected to her fifth term, said that during her coming term, she hopes to help secure funding for a new Yadkin River bridge at the juncture of Rowan and Davidson counties.
The Interstate 85 bridge is badly outdated and in need of replacement.
Coates said she campaigned throughout the day Tuesday with two of her daughters and a granddaughter. Coates’ granddaughter, a teacher at Carson High School, was sitting beside her grandmother in the Cohen Administrative Office Building as votes were tallied Tuesday night.Coates said she’d been on the road since 5 a.m. and had to be in Raleigh at 10 this morning.
“It’s been a long day,” Coates said. “I’m happy.”
She thanked Fisher for keeping the campaign clean and concentrating on the issues.
“We both ran positive campaigns,” Fisher said. “I really appreciate Ada not going negative.”
Reached by phone late Tuesday, Fisher said she’d been concentrating on other races across the state and nation and said she didn’t even know the vote total of her own race until a reporter told her.
“The people have spoken,” Fisher said. “That’s their wish.”
Told that Coates said she appreciated her keeping the campaign clean, Fisher said, “That’s not my style,” in reference to negative campaigning.
Fisher said that despite the fact that she’s a staunch Republican, she’s excited about Barack Obama’s election to the presidency.
“My son just called to say Mr. Obama won the presidency,” Fisher said when reached about 11 p.m. “He’s to be congratulated.”