I’m not a political guy. One look at my Twitter feed and you’ll see a lot about sports, especially Elon University sports. It goes with the title I hold here at The Pendulum.
But Tuesday night, I traveled to the Vailtree Event Center in Graham to hang out with a group of Alamance County Republicans who were hoping for the best in local, state and national elections. The biggest boom was the fairly early call for the North Carolina governorship, going to former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory.
“For us to be able to capture that this year is going to be very beneficial to Republican policy initiatives we have,” said Justin Hall, the chairman of the Alamance County GOP.
It was the beginning of a good night for the Alamance County Republicans. When McCrory’s win was announced, there was cheering and clapping while Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” began playing. I thought it was a natural song. Then Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” came over the speakers, thus ushering in perhaps the most confusing part of the evening. Other songs included Katy Perry’s “Firework” and classic ‘80s band Kansas hit “Carry On Wayward Son.” Talk about contradictions.
The setup surrounded a stage in the corner of the room, while tables surrounded it with space for standing around the stage. Two screens were on the wall. On the left, Fox News’ coverage was shown, while on the right was the North Carolina Board of Elections’ website results page.
Throughout the night, more and more Republican candidates found themselves on the winning side of local races. One of those winners was Steve Ross, a Republican who won the North Carolina House District 63 seat over Democrat Patty Phillips. Ross, a 1973 Elon graduate, felt “relief” when Phillips called him to concede.
“This campaign’s gone on for months,” he said. “It comes down to one night. When you get right down to the end, you get a lot of apprehension and nervousness and then all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Wow, it’s finally over.’”
That one night was successful for Republicans, at least locally in Alamance County. School board candidates, county commissioner candidates and state senate and house candidates in attendance were embraced by family and friends as they were announced winners.
While I’m not a political guy, it was nonetheless interesting to be on the scene of the democratic process that helped create America.