Brunswick, Pender and Columbus counties make up the 8th District in the State Senate. A race we watched closely last night. Incumbent, and long-time legislator, R.C. Soles squeaked out a win over former newspaper reporter Bettie Fennell. Watching the election returns on television Tuesday night was a bit unsettling for Democrat R.C. Soles. He trailed when the Brunswick County numbers came in. The Pender numbers put him even further behind. Finally, he got the news he was hoping for; a strong showing in his home county. ‘It’s wonderful and I want to thank everyone in all 3 counties. I got a good vote in all 3 counties. Ms. Fennell won 2 of them, but certainly not in a landslide, and it’s wonderful to know your home folks stick by you,” said Soles. In this case, the home folks are the residents of Columbus. Soles won Columbus County by a large enough margin to outweigh his deficit from Brunswick and Pender. "This is the 21st time I’ve been back before the voters, and if I weren’t doing something right then they would have brought me home a long time before now,” added Soles. But there is a difference this year, and Senator Soles thinks he knows why the race with Bettie Fennell was so tight. "I think the problem I’m having is so many nice people have moved into the district. But they come from New York, New Jersey, Florida and other states and they don’t know me even though I’ve served for 40 years," he said. Now that R.C. Soles is re-elected, he said he wants to get a chance to know these people and shake their hands as well. Soles also went on to say that this was the ugliest campaign he has ever been involved in.