In U.S. 6th District, Coble easily overwhelms newcomer Bratton
By Sarah Nagem
Howard Coble, who has served in Congress for more than two decades, couldn’t get too overjoyed about his successful re-election bid Tuesday.
“I’m pleased with the way our race turned out, but it’s been a terrible day for Republicans in North Carolina,” Coble said of his party.
Coble, 77, of Greensboro, won enough votes to easily beat out Democratic challenger and first-time candidate Teresa Sue Bratton, a Greensboro doctor, for the 6th Congressional District seat.
Coble won all six counties he represents, including a portion of Rowan. He earned almost 67 percent of the vote throughout his district.
In Rowan, Coble won 68.15 percent of the vote.
But Coble said his victory party Tuesday night was going to be bittersweet, considering the results of other races.
Republican Pat McCrory lost the governor’s race to Democrat Bev Perdue, and Demcratic State Sen. Kay Hagan, of Greensboro, unseated U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Salisbury native.
“There won’t be great joy over there,” Coble said of his victory celebration.
Coble’s district includes portions of Rowan, Guilford, Davidson and Alamance counties and all of Moore and Randolph counties.
Bratton, 59, a semi-retired pediatric allergist in Greensboro, said she wasn’t disappointed by Coble’s victory. Many people throughout the district simply don’t know who she is, she said.
“This is the first race I’ve ever run in,” Bratton said.
Some voters in eastern Rowan precincts said Tuesday that Coble’s name was more recognizable.
“The name is very familiar,” said Melissa Brown, who voted at the Granite Quarry Municipal Building.
Brown said she is a Republican, and no specific issues prompted her to vote for Coble.
Grady Morris, 53, of Granite Quarry, said he also voted for Coble.
“I just think he’s done a good job so far,” Morris, an unaffiliated voter, said.
Morris said he thought the congressional race, along with some other races, didn’t get as much publicity because of all the talk surrounding bigger contests, like the presidential and gubernatorial races.
“I think some issues … are masked because of the hype around everything else,” he said.
Brett Mecimore, 32, of Granite Quarry, voted for Coble because he was the Republican candidate. But he said he was not familiar with Coble or Bratton.
“There’s so much … hype about the other races,” Mecimore said.
A little more than 10,100 voters cast ballots for Bratton in Rowan County. Rich Pandarvis of Rockwell was won of them.
“Gender mixing,” Pendarvis said when asked why he voted for Bratton.
“I don’t believe in one party,” he said. “I don’t believe in one gender. I like to mix it up.”
Coble said he thinks he was re-elected because he stays in contact with his constituents. Name recognition is important, too, he said.
Coble said he realized his race to stay in Washington wasn’t the major focus of this election year, even locally.
“I think clearly the gubernatorial race and race between Dole and Hagan ó they were front and center,” he said. “The rest of us were cast aside. Not ignored, but cast aside.”
Bratton said she knew trying to unseat Coble would be an uphill battle. But she wanted to point out policy differences between herself and the congressman, she said.
She said she wanted to talk about health care, jobs, energy and education, among other issues.
Bratton said she wasn’t sure if she would run for office again.