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Republican voters lead charge in OC

Republican voters lead charge in OC
Obion County turned out in big numbers supporting the Republican ticket in Tuesday’s General Election, backing GOP candidates in races for the White House all the way down to the state Legislature.
Local voters overwhelmingly backed Republicans in six key races, including the presidential race, according to preliminary election results.
In Obion County, the Romney/Ryan ticket got 8,814 votes to the Obama/Biden ticket’s 3,320 votes.
Obion County voters also supported incumbent Stephen Fincher’s campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. The Frog Jump Republican received 7,794 votes to challenger Tim Dixon’s 3,171 votes.
Fincher, who represents West Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District, has secured his second term in Congress. He handily defeated a field of three challengers.
In a telephone interview with The Messenger early today, he said he was very pleased with his re-election to Congress but said he is also troubled by the obstacles facing the country’s future.
“It’s an honor for the folks to have picked me to serve in Washington,” he said. “I am focused on getting the country back on track.”
He emphasized he plans to continue fighting for the people of his congressional district in West Tennessee and for their core common values. He said the fight will be tough, but he remains committed.
State Rep. Bill Sander-son, R-Kenton, told The Messenger today he was very pleased with his big re-election victory over Democratic challenger Mark Oakes.
“It was a congenial race,” Sanderson said. “I appreciate that there was no mudslinging.”
He described his victory Tuesday as “huge.” Obion County supported Sanderson with 5,193 votes to Oakes’ 1,969 votes.
“Northwest Tennessee has truly evolved into a conservative district,” Sanderson said. “We’re not on the same path as Washington.”
He explained that his conservative agenda aligned with those of voters in the district to secure his overwhelming margin of victory.
 In one of the most surprising outcomes of the night, Democrat and Obion County native Brad Thompson of Martin was defeated by Huntingdon Republican John Stevens, who even carried Obion County by a 5,822 to 5,462 vote margin.
In a telephone interview with The Messenger early today, Stevens said, “It was a really good night on the state level.”
This will be the Huntingdon attorney’s first term in office as a state legislator, but he did serve as a legislative liaison for three years during the Sundquist administration.
“As all things are, it’s an opportunity, but it has its challenges,” Stevens said today.
He cited the Affordable Care Act as one of those challenges he will have to deal with when he gets to Nashville. Stevens said there are many “tough decisions” ahead for the state Legislature, but he said he is committed to keeping taxes low.
As for Thompson, he told The Messenger today he is already back at work in Martin.
“I am proud of the campaign we ran because it was never about political party or pleasing some party boss in Nashville,” he said. “It was always about people right here in West Tennessee. I am a firm believer that until we get back to taking care of our neighbors and focus on results for our communities instead of thinking about pleasing political parties, we’ll never get back on track.
“If we can’t look at a person’s qualifications and credentials and transcend partisanship, we’ll never really be focused on results for our people. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all have to work together if we are ever to be effective for our people.”
Thompson said he was pleased so many people in both parties told him they voted for him because his campaign was about the people in this district and not a political party or pleasing politicians. “While there weren’t enough of those votes to get the job done, I find great satisfaction in that,” he said.
Joining Stevens at the state Capitol will be state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden.
Voters in northwest Tennessee’s 76th District backed Holt in his bid to return to the state Capitol. Holt’s win helps cement the forthcoming 108th General Assembly’s place in the history books.
“Tonight’s results prove that staying true to our conservative principles matters,” he said Tuesday night. “I will continue fighting for what’s right in Nashville and representing the wishes of my voters. We have a ways to go in order to make Tennessee the best possible state in the nation, but I am confident we will get there. Whether it is the economy, education or our constitutional rights, I’m ready to do what’s right.”
Among those watching the race closely were House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, and House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga who both campaigned hard for the Weakley County Republican.
“Andy Holt’s victory tonight is the result of working hard and listening to the concerns of voters,” Harwell said. “I am very proud of Representative Holt and I am very much looking forward to working closely with him to make this great state an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”
“I’d like to congratulate Andy Holt on a hard-fought victory,” McCormick said. “He is an important player on our conservative team in Nashville and he is going to continue adding to his impressive track record as a Representative who fights government waste and supports measures that will grow jobs in Tennessee.
“We have a lot of challenges awaiting us in the next two years but, with Andy and this larger majority, I am confident we will meet them head on and make Tennesseans proud.”
On the other side, Maddox was gracious in defeat.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Maddox said. “He ran a very good race. I think we gave the voters in Weakley, Obion and Carroll counties a choice. I think they’ve made that choice, and I would encourage Representative Holt to go and represent them the way they want to be represented.”
Maddox came within about 100 votes of winning Carroll County.
“Carroll County is almost like a second home to me. I’m very grateful for the amount of votes I got in Carroll County,” he said.
Maddox said it was an enjoyable campaign.
“We have met some folks over in Obion County that I did not know before,” he said. “We have learned what they want out of government. We have had a lot of conversations with a lot of people across this district. I want to thank the voters.”
Tuesday’s elections were truly historic for Tennessee.
For the first time in history, Tennessee will have a Republican supermajority in the state House and state Senate, according to a news release from the state Republican Party.
“Tennessee voters affirmed tonight that our state is heading in the right direction,” Tennessee Republican Party chairman Chris Devaney said. “Republicans are once again honored that voters have put their trust in our party to lead our state to a better future. Tonight’s victories can be credited to good candidates, a solid message and an aggressive ground game.” Published in The Messenger 11.7.12