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Queen wins election in back-and-forth NC House District

Democrat Joe Sam Queen. (Photo credit: WLOS)

A familiar face wins a new term in Raleigh. Democrat Joe Sam Queen has represented North Carolina’s 119 House District before. Two years ago, he lost to Republican Mike Clampitt but won the seat back on Election Day.

Clampitt says he accomplished a lot in his two years. He notes his assistance in getting federal money for Swain County's Road to Nowhere.

“We got $4 million a year ago, and then we got the other $35 million this year,” Clampitt says.

He cites financial help for Western Carolina University's steam plant, as well.

Queen says, in 2016, he focused on electing a Democratic governor. This year he says he ran a strong campaign with a targeted agenda, anticipating working both sides of the aisle in Raleigh.

“I’ve got good Republican friends that want to expand Medicaid, that want to bring broadband to North Carolina. They want to support public education,” Queen said.

Clampitt said politics overshadowed performance in the campaign.

“We may have lost nine seats in the House, may not have that supermajority, but I can say my competitor will be very much in the back row,” he said.

Clampitt said don't count him out in the future. “All options are on the table for 2020,” he said Wednesday.

Clampitt will finish out his term when the General Assembly convenes Nov. 27. Queen will be inaugurated in January.