Elect 2012: Motsinger gets shot at Foxx in 5th District
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Elisabeth Motsinger attributed her decisive victory Tuesday over Dr. Bruce Peller to the relationships she has cultivated.
Motsinger beat Peller 69 percent to 30 percent — 38,269 votes to 16,616 — in the Democratic primary for the 5th U.S. House District and won the chance to take on Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx this fall. The 5th district now includes part of Rowan County, thanks to redistricting.
“I have built a lot of relationships with people, and they trust me and they know I genuinely care about all people,” said Motsinger, who has served on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board since 2006.
Beating Foxx, who has been in office for four terms, “will take more of the same,” Motsinger said.
The campaign will work throughout the 5th district to “make sure we come up with ways to meet the needs of the people,” she said. “To be a true representative.”
Motsinger, a physician’s assistant in Winston-Salem, said she’s up for the difficult, challenging race this fall.
Peller, a dentist, struggled in the final weeks of the primary campaign, firing his campaign manager and filing a criminal complaint against him over mishandling of political funds.
The Motsinger campaign complained to the Federal Elections Commission that Peller had not filed the required financial documents to reveal who is funding his campaign.
Peller, who largely self-financed his run for office, said he missed filing deadlines because of his campaign manager. Once he realized the campaign had missed deadlines, “we filed as quickly as we could,” he said.
Not many people voting at Isenberg Elementary School Tuesday morning in the Milford Hills City precinct had heard of either Motsinger or Peller.
“I will vote for one of them, I guess, but I don’t know who,” one voter said as he entered the school.
Voter Dayna Anderson said she was afraid voters were uninformed not just about the 5th district but about other races and issues as well, including the constitutional amendment on marriage, which passed.
“People don’t make up their own mind,” Anderson said. “They let others decide for them. They are voting as uninformed voters.”
Anderson voted for Motsinger.
“I like her stand on the issues, and she seems to be an independent thinker,” said Anderson, who opposed the constitutional amendment.
Edna Watkins voted for Peller.
“I feel like he was the better choice to hopefully make something happen in this economy,” Watkins said.
The margin between Peller and Motsinger was narrower in Rowan County, where Motsinger won 1,287 votes for 56 percent and Peller, 974 votes for 43 percent.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.