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McIntyre's edge over Rouzer continues to grow slightly

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- By the end of today, ten days after the polls closed, we will finally know the official results of the November 6 election. And if the votes hold the way they stand now, Rep. Mike McIntyre will return to Washington for a ninth term in Congress.

Unofficial results on the North Carolina Board of Elections website show McIntyre holding a 551-vote lead over Republican challenger David Rouzer in their race for the 7th District seat in the US House, which has grown since the day began.

By 4:05 p.m., out of 335,927 votes counted, McIntyre's lead represents 0.16 percent of the total. Those results, though, could still change slightly as vote counts are made official in North Carolina today and submitted to the state Board of Elections.

Still, assuming there is no significant change in the numbers, it is likely Rouzer will ask for a recount. If the margin remains within one percent, he will not have to pay for that second tally.

"Once the vote count from the canvass has been completed, we will release a statement based on those results early next week," Rouzer spokeswoman Jessica Wood said in a statement this afternoon.

Rouzer's camp has remained quiet since Election Day, and Rouzer has not spoken publicly since talking to supporters at his Election Night party in Benson. The state senator from Johnston County, though, has been taking part in Congressional orientation in Washington this week, as he is eligible to do because of the close margin in the race. He was even part of a photo yesterday of Congressional freshmen.

McIntyre, meanwhile, basically declared victory around 11:30 p.m. on Election Night despite his razor thin lead in the returns. Earlier this week his campaign sent out a news release saying the Congressman was heading back to Washington to get back to work.

The McIntyre-Rouzer race is one of a handful of US House battles across the country that are still undetermined. They are not likely to have a great deal of influence nationally, though, as Republicans maintained their majority in the House in the election.

Also up for grabs in today's vote canvassing is the race for North Carolina's second highest office. Republican Dan Forest leads Democrat Linda Coleman by a margin of 0.24 percent in their contest for lieutenant governor, according to the state Board of Elections website this morning.

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