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Incumbent U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx Takes Down Her Challenger in GOP Primary Phillip Doyle in Landslide

Doyle is challenging Foxx
Doyle is challenging Foxx

By Jesse Wood

May 7, 2014. In a landslide, long-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx defeated Phillip Doyle by a 3 to 1 margin to once again become the GOP party nominee during the general election for the Fifth Congressional District in North Carolina. Foxx has held the office since 2005.

Foxx received 49,371 votes (75 percent) to Doyle’s 16,091 votes across the district. That percentage mirrored the results in Watauga County, where Foxx garnered 2,757 (75 percent) to Doyle’s 941 votes.

While much of the focus was on the district attorney race last night, the running joke of the primary revolved around the Foxx v. Doyle contest: the most surprising part was that Foxx didn’t receive all the votes.

Foxx was the GOP establishment candidate. When both Foxx and Doyle filed for the 2014 election and announced their candidacy, Foxx never acknowledged Doyle. She instead harped on big government, the national debt and “values of hard-working North Carolina families.”

Doyle, however, came out swinging.

In his candidacy statement, Doyle claimed that Foxx betrayed U.S. soldiers and that “her treachery against those to whom we owe so much has brought shame and disrepute upon herself, her office and the U.S. House of Representatives.”

In the hours leading up to the election, the Facebook page for Phillip Doyle for Congress posted: “OK, Patriots. Time to Fix Bayonets and go over the wire. It is D-Day. Today we fight for our Liberty, Freedom and Sovereignty. It is ours to fight for or ours to lose. Today, we choose to fight.”

Following primary Tuesday on Wednesday morning, Foxx sent out a release thanking her supporters. Below is her entire statement:

“Today Republicans voted to determine who would represent them on the ballot in the fall against the Democrat nominee.  Thanks to the overwhelming support of Republicans across the Fifth Congressional District, I am honored to take our shared vision of conservative solutions into the general election in November.

Thank you to each voter who made it a priority to vote in the primary this year, even those who did not support me.  Your dedication to our democratic process and to the peaceful transition of elected officials is inspiring and humbling.  Even a straightforward act like voting in a primary is one which helps to preserve our tradition of government by, for, and of the people.

With today’s win I’m turning my focus to the upcoming general election in November.  It promises to be a tough battle and I will need your support.  But I’m confident that even though winning in the fall will not come easily, our message of small government, individual liberty and common-sense conservative solutions will carry the day.

Again, I am humbled by the confidence that you have placed in me and I will work tirelessly to uphold that trust as we work toward victory in November.”

After her resounding victory, Foxx will now turn her efforts to the general election in November, where she will face the Democratic nominee. Because the top vote-getter in the Democratic primary race for the 5th Congressional District, Josh Brannon, only received 33 percent of the vote, it’s possible a runoff will take place. If the winner of a partisan primary race receives less than 40 percent of the vote, the second-highest vote-getter can request a runoff that would take place several weeks from now.

While Brannon won in a landslide in Watauga County, he didn’t fare as well across the district. See the results below:

  • Josh Brannon: 33 percent (72 percent in Watauga)
  • Gardenia Henley 27 percent (13 in Watauga)
  • Michael W. Holleman: 23 percent (8 perent in Watauga)
  • Will Stinson: 17 percent (7 percent in Watauga)

See listing of unofficial results of races on Avery and Watauga County ballots.