McIntyre claimed victory Friday after the official ballot counting showed him 655 votes ahead in the district that covers areas south of Fayetteville towards Wilmington. New district lines drafted by the state's Republican-dominated legislature last year cut out heavily Democratic precincts in central Wilmington and McIntyre's hometown of Lumberton. As a state senator, Rouzer voted for those new district boundaries. He is a resident of Republican-leaning Johnston County, which was added to the district.
"Considering this is the closest Congressional race in the country and in light of the irregularity previously found in Bladen County, which significantly reduced the vote margin at that time, I have decided to request a mandatory recount of the votes cast in the 7th Congressional District as allowed by law. In a race this close, accidental human error could easily change the outcome. It is important to ensure that every legal vote cast is properly and accurately counted," said Rouzer in a statement.
A member of his party's conservative Blue Dog caucus, the 56-year-old McIntyre is seeking a 9th term. National Republican leaders saw the district as a prime opportunity to expand the party's majority in the U.S. House after redistricting, and the resulting ad war ballooned into one of the most expensive congressional races in the country.
"While we respect the legal right for a recount, it is unfortunate that taxpayer dollars, time, and resources will be spent on a process that has been closely monitored. All twelve county boards of elections in the 7th District have carefully reviewed the votes and the results have already shown Mike McIntyre to be the winner. For someone who has claimed fiscal responsibility, David Rouzer is asking taxpayers to pay for his pursuit of his own personal political ambition in a district he had drawn for himself," said Lachlan McIntosh, McIntyre's campaign manager.