Fairly early in the tabulation of votes Tuesday night, supporters of Democrat Deborah Ross were thrilled with the prospect the attorney and former state House member was going to beat incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.
After all, it was only a matter of time until Hillary Clinton won victory over Donald Trump, right? Wrong, and wrong.
It would be hard to imagine a more articulate, well-qualified and progressive candidate for the Senate than Ross, a former head of the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. She ran an energetic campaign, traveled the state, made an earnest case for why she had and she would fight for the interests of all North Carolinians.
Burr’s supporters responded with absolutely vicious ads accusing Ross of putting the privacy rights of sex offenders above the safety of victims. She had worked to ensure a sex offenders’ registry provided some confidentiality, but it was as much about preventing the names of victims from being made public as it was privacy rights of offenders. No matter.
The ads, perhaps, and certainly the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton have delivered Burr a third term. Now chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the senator can be counted upon to be a dutiful servant of the Republican administration. We hope in his third term he also will focus on the folks back home.
Make no mistake: Burr won re-election fair and square. Clearly, his constituent services are competent, and that’s important. And though his views are very conservative, Burr does present himself as a reasonable, soft-spoken, willing-to-listen person. He has stood before the voters three times statewide, and he has won.