Mobile transportation entrepreneur Margie Wilcox won tonight’s Republican runoff election in state House District 104, beating retailer Susan Hightower by a narrow margin in a light turnout. She’ll face Democrat Stephen Carr in the general election Jan. 28, which will decide who will fill a seat vacated mid-term by Jim Barton in August.
“I’m tinkled pink,” Wilcox said after her victory. “I honestly couldn’t be happier. The Hightowers ran a good race and we both did some wonderful campaigning, but I attributed it to a lot of great family and friends behind me.”
Hightower is the wife of State Sen. Bill Hightower and finished first the vote count in the primary election Oct. 15 but lost in the runoff with 1,515 votes to Wilcox’s 1,723. The unofficial tally represents about 8 percent of the district’s more than 38,000 voters.
Wilcox said after finishing second in the primary, she doubled her efforts.
“Hard work is the story of my life and I owe it some great strategists and people who never believed we were going to lose,” she said.
Afterward, Hightower called Wilcox and offered congratulations and support.
“It was a close race and I’m grateful for the support of the constituents and from friends and family and I encourage them to support Margie,” Hightower said.
Hightower noted she hadn’t contemplated running for office until this opportunity arose and wouldn’t rule out another bid in the future.
Wilcox acknowledges the district as highly Republican, but wouldn’t discount Carr’s chances in the general election.
“He is a hard worker and a convincing candidate, but we’ll let the Republicans take care of the Republicans,” she said.
The next legislative session begins before the general election in House District 104 and is reported to be on an expedited schedule. Among the bills under proposal is one by State Sen. Del Marsh, which would attempt to prevent legislators from resigning early to accept lobbying jobs, as Jim Barton and others have done.