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Edwards elected to Congress

Chuck Edwards and his wife, Teresa, greet supporters at the Ag Center.

Republican Chuck Edwards had a solid 16,000-vote lead over Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara on Tuesday night in his attempt to take the 11th Congressional District seat that became open when Edwards vanquished incumbent Madison Cawthorn in the May primay.

Edwards led with 148,949 votes to Beach-Ferrara's 129,571 with 191 of 275 precincts reporting — almost 70 percent. Five of 15 counties had finished counting as of 9 p.m. Libertarian David Adam Coatney had 4,527 votes.

The large crowd gathered at the Ag Center in Fletcher to celebrate Edwards' victory was basking in the big night for the Republican Party. The wins for Republicans locally and across the U.S. were welcome "because we need it to survive," said Henderson County Commissioner Rebecca McCall.

She predicted shortly after the polls closed in North Carolina that Republicans would dominate "as long as nobody tampers with the votes. I think it'll be a red wave across the United States."