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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For the first time in a long time, Rep. Mike McIntyre will face a different kind of opponent in November: one who’s held political office. Two-time state Sen. David Rouzer swept past Ilario Pantano in the Republican primary last night to secure a place on the ballot.

“We need to work very hard in New Hanover County and Brunswick County, because we need a good vote out of these two counties if we’re going to prevail in the fall,” Rouzer said of his campaign against McIntyre.

Rouzer says the redrawn 7th District lines made the Republican primary difficult. It’s also something he will have to contend with in the general election as he takes on an eight-term incumbent.

“Mike McIntyre has walked in step with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi during his time in Congress, and we’ve got a record debt, we’ve got an economy, more folks out of work than ever before, and so we need a change in direction,” Rouzer said.

Rep. McIntyre says he has never based his campaign on someone else, but on what is best for his constituents.

“My beginning point with any issue is always — ‘Is this good for eastern North Carolina?'” McIntyre said in a statement to WWAY. “I have already been spending time throughout the new area of the district since the beginning of the year meeting local leaders and citizens discussing key issues including jobs, small business, agriculture, education, veterans, and health care. Although this district was drawn for political purposes, we are going to continue to put people over politics, issues over ideology, and always do what is best for eastern North Carolina.”

McIntyre already has a sizeable campaign war chest. He also says he already has 20 fundraising events confirmed in the coming months to ensure he has the resources to counter groups that will try to influence this election.

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