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Jones, Butterfield retain seats

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Walter Jones


Shannon Keith

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Incumbent U.S. congressmen Walter B. Jones Jr. and G.K. Butterfield both fended off challengers Tuesday to retain their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jones, the 11-term Republican incumbent from Farmville, defeated Ernest Reeves, a retired U.S. Army captain from Greenville, to keep his 3rd Congressional District seat.

“It’s very gratifying,” Jones said Tuesday. “You have to look at every vote you get as a vote of confidence from people that want you to represent them in Washington, D.C. It’s a very humbling experience and it means as much tonight as it did 20 years ago.”

Butterfield, the six-term Democratic incumbent from Wilson, defeated H. Powell Dew Jr., a Baptist minister from Stantonsburg, and J.J. Summerell, a businessman from Greensboro, to retain his 1st Congressional District seat.

“I would like to thank the voters of Pitt County and the 1st District for their vote of confidence,” Butterfield said Tuesday night. “I’ve worked very hard for the people of this district for the past 12 years and I will continue that work.”

Tuesday’s unofficial results showed that Jones received more than 195,000, or 68 percent, of the vote in the 3rd Congressional District, which includes portions of Pitt, Currituck, Tyrell, Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Craven, Jones, Lenoir, Carteret, Onslow, Wayne and Duplin counties. Reeves received about 91,000 votes or 32 percent.

In Pitt County, Jones received 29,197 votes or 66 percent, and Reeves received 15,400 votes or 34 percent.

Results showed that Butterfield received more than 163,000, or 66 percent, of the vote in the 1st Congressional District, which includes portions of Pitt, Edgecombe, Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Warren counties. Dew received about 78,000 votes or 32 percent, and Summerell got close to 6,000 votes or 2 percent.

In Pitt County, Butterfield received 21,615 votes or 66 percent, Dew received 10,018 votes or 30 percent and Summerell got 1,063 votes or 3 percent.

Jones was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 and is a strong supporter of veterans and active-duty military personnel. Jones said the United States cannot continue military involvement in multiple conflicts in the Middle East.

“We need a foreign policy that makes sense,” Jones said. “We cannot continue to try and change these countries ... it’s not working.”

Jones said he will continue his efforts to get federal spending under control during his 12th term in Congress.

“We have to stop spending more money than we are bringing in,” Jones said. ”Our nation’s deficit is up to $19.2 trillion. We cannot keep going down this road.”

Before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, Butterfield served 12 years as a resident Superior Court Judge for 46 counties in North Carolina. Butterfield serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and formerly served on the House Armed Services Committee. In 2015, he was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Butterfield said he will continue his efforts to secure federal funding to improve eastern North Carolina’s infrastructure needs.

“I will always work toward improving the infrastructure throughout the region,” Butterfield said. “That’s one of the reasons I supported Hillary Clinton. She understands the need to invest in infrastructure and I think Pitt County has a lot of potential.”

Contact Shannon Keith at skeith@reflector.com and 329-9575.