After losing to incumbent Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, in 2012 and 2014, Clampitt appeared poised to mount a strong challenge against the veteran incumbent. And that’s just what he did, prevailing by a slim majority.
“I’d just give praise to God above for allowing me to win,” Clampitt said. “The hard work of all those people out there working for me really put me over.”
Clampitt spent his day visiting polling locations in Swain, Jackson and Haywood counties, trying to turn out as many votes as possible; if election night results go unchanged, he needed every one of them. Clampitt’s 311-vote margin was less than 1 percent better than Queen’s.
As he looks to his freshman term in the legislature, Clampitt echoed the message he’d been spreading throughout his campaign.
“For the 119th District, I want to let people of Swain, Jackson and Haywood Counties know they now have a true rep they can contact with concerns and frustrations, and I’ll do my best to represent them as fully as possible, and let Raleigh know there is a Western North Carolina past the Balsams.”
NC House District 119
Joe Sam Queen (D) Mike Clampitt (R)
Haywood 5,291 5,799
Jackson 8,808 9,023
Swain 2,660 3,264