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Meadows swamps Patterson to win 11th Dct. nomination

Mark Meadows, with wife Debbie and children Haley and Blake, addresses a victory party in Fletcher. Mark Meadows, with wife Debbie and children Haley and Blake, addresses a victory party in Fletcher.

FLETCHER — Sweeping to an overwhelming victory, 11th Congressional District nominee Mark Meadows vowed on Tuesday night to "finish the job we started in 2010" and return the seat to Republican hands for the first time since 2006.

"We are going up against the Rogers-Obama machine, well-oiled, well-organized, well-funded machine and you know what, we've got to do is be better organized," he told a crowd of cheering supporters here. "You know what we've got that he doesn't have? We've got the grassroots support and voice of the people that nobody can equal."
The victory party had a strong Henderson County tilt, with 2010 nominee Jeff Miller, a key adviser, introducing Meadows. The candidate stood on a fireplace hearth in the open lobby of the Hampton Inn, his wife Debbie and his children Blake and Haley by his side.
Stepping aside after his unsuccessful run two years ago, Miller instead worked from the beginning for Meadows, a Highlands businessman he had gotten to know two years ago when he challenged incumbent Heath Shuler.
Miller said he looked forward to fighting for Meadows this time and helping win the seat, which has been redrawn into a likely Republican pickup after three terms of Democratic control under Shuler.
"Obviously we've got to get back up to mach speed," Meadows said in an interview. "We've got to raise more money, we've got to make sure that we're getting out. We haven't quit campaigning, so that's an advantage. We've just got to continue to run like we have the last year."
Meadows obliterated Vance Patterson, a Morganton businessman who had tried to wear the Tea Party mantle since a run for Congress in 2010. He won with 76 percent of the vote in the 17-county district that runs from the foothills to the Great Smokies and takes four hours to drive end to end.
"I'm really proud of Henderson County," Miller told the crowd. "It was something like 91 percent."
It was 90.19 to 9.81 percent to be exact, or 5,267 to 573 in raw numbers, meaning that Henderson County delivered 30 percent of Meadows' overall vote. That underscored again the importance of Henderson County, now the largest in the 11th District and an important base in the general election.
Meadows said he knows Rogers will be well funded.
"We know he's going to paint me as too far to the right. My message has been clearly conservative and consistent for almost a year now," he said. "It hasn't deviated."
"Now can be take soundbites? Yes. People in Western North Carolina are smarter than that. They know that more government is not the answer. We've got Hayden, who is part of the group that says I'm not going to repeal Obamacare when more than 65 percent of the people in this district want it repealed. Either you're representative or not.
"You can't distance yourself from Obama in Western North Carolina and then go up and support his agenda in Washington. We know the Obama-Rogers machine is going to be well funded. We've just got to do a better job of making sure we connect with the people."