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McKinley, Johnson Stave Off Challenges

November 7, 2012
By JOSELYN KING Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Rep. David B. McKinley easily won re-election in West Virginia's 1st Congressional District Tuesday, defeating Democrat Sue Thorn.

In Ohio, Rep. Bill Johnson also won re-election early this morning, as the Associated Press called him the winner shortly after 1 a.m. He defeated Democrat Charles Wilson.

Vote totals as of 1:30 a.m. showed Johnson in the lead with 89 percent of the vote tallied. He had 148,352 votes at that point; and Wilson, 128,801.

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Jefferson County election officials counted early into this morning, and as of 2 a.m. nothing other than absentee ballots had been reported out of that county.

"The race currently is too close to call," said J.R. Starrett, campaign manager for Wilson. "With Jefferson County yet to report a single vote cast on Election Day, the race at this time is just too close to call.

"Jefferson County represents the second largest county of the 18 county congressional district. The county, by some estimates, could account for nearly 15 percent of the total votes cast district wide. Due to this we see the race as a too close to call."

In West Virginia, McKinley, a Republican from Wheeling, easily defeated Thorn, also of Wheeling, by about 46,000 votes. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, McKinley had 118,709 votes to Thorn's 72,535.

McKinley said he appreciated the support of the voters.

"What we've been trying to do from the beginning is to overcome the attitude people have toward this process," he said. "We doubled our efforts many times to make sure we did what we said we were going to do and stand up for the issues we were talking about - not just in a political campaign, but physically do them while we were in Washington.

"Maybe tonight is the physical representation of people recognizing that. We were really honored with that support."

He hopes others will be inspired to enter the political process, and look past the negativity.

McKinley added he is "eager" to get back to Washington.

"Everyone needs to understand that (the day after the election), 51 percent of America is going to be disappointed," he commented. "And how to we pull it back together? How do we re-instill confidence and hope?

"We have to work together as a nation. We're going to continue to try and break down those walls between the two parties."

McKinley, 65, was first elected to Congress in 2010. He previously served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1981-94.

West Virginia other two members of Congress, Shelley Moore Capito in the 2nd District and Nick Rahall in the 3rd, also won re-election Tuesday night.

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