WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- One Stop Voting starts tomorrow in the Tar Heel state, which means a pivotal point in this fall campaign. One of the most hotly-contested congressional races in the country is right here in Southeastern North Carolina.
Politico.com says North Carolina's 7th District House race between incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre and Republican David Rouzer is the fifth most expensive House race in the nation.
Last week, the political website said the McIntyre and Rouzer campaigns had spent about $3 million dollars on the 7th district race. That does not include money from outside groups, including the Republican National Congressional Committee, which has spent more than $1.7 million on ads and research to unseat McIntyre.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent close to $1 million to block Rouzer's run.
That brings the total spent to about $5 million. But why so much? Rouzer says he and his supporters really want to unseat the eight-term incumbent.
"Voters are ready for a change," he said. "My opponent has been in Congress for 16 years and what I'm hearing throughout the district here in Wilmington, all the way up through Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen and on into Johnston counties is that people are ready to move this country in a very different direction."
The race has been controversial with many negative ads on the airwaves. Rouzer says instead of focusing on the commercials, he is targeting his energy on change.
"Campaigns are campaigns," said Rouzer. "You're all trying to reach the goal of winning on Election Day and getting your message out to the voters and that's what I'm focused on. I really don't focus on the outside groups and all the others who are coming in spending money I'm trying to stay on task."
McIntyre's campaign told us earlier in the day he would be available for a phone interview. Later, though, they said he was unavailable because he was traveling to a meeting in Washington to honor Special Forces and their families.
We told his campaign spokesman we wanted voters to actually hear from the candidates, and that we would not run a statement, but that's what they sent anyway.