In two-DVM state senate race, Bill Rabon defeats Ernie Ward

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First-time North Carolina candidate and well-known veterinary personality says losing to Republican incumbent doesnt mean hell stop helping.

>>> "Losing the election doesn't mean we'll stop helping," Dr. Ernie Ward said after the election. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ernie Ward)The 2014 North Carolina State Senate race found two veterinarians going head to head. Ernie Ward, DVM, a first-time political candidate, practicing veterinarian and clinic owner for more than 20 years, speaker, author, lecturer and dvm360 contributor, took on Republican incumbent, Bill Rabon, DVM, a partner in Brunswick Animal Hospital, Southport Animal Hospital and Oak Island Animal Hospital. Rabon secured his third term with 57 percent of the vote.

Rabon joined other Republicans across the country in celebrating victories on social media on Election Day. He posted his gratitude to supporters on his Facebook page. Ward took to Twitter the day after. “Thank you to the thousands of supporters of my campaign,” he posted on his Ernie Ward NC Senate Twitter account. “Each day is an opportunity to make something better.”

Ward expanded his concession in a Facebook post: “We're going to spend the next several days analyzing the results and making decisions. Our goal is to create a strategy that keeps education, seniors, veterans and working families, property rights, healthcare and the environmental and animal welfare issues we were fighting for in the public's mind and heart.”

Ward told dvm360 in March that Rabon's opposition to a bill to regulate commercial dog breeding catalyzed his decision to run this year. “If it was just about puppy mills I'd continue to advocate for animal welfare like I always have, but it's about more than that,” he said. “Mainly, the state of public schools, jobs and the environment.”

Rabon ran on his past efforts with transportation and tax reform as well as initiatives related to job creation and education.

“I did not in my wildest dreams ever think I'd have to oppose another veterinarian in a political campaign,” Ward said last spring. On Nov. 5 he told supporters, “Losing an election doesn't mean we stop helping.”

To see Ward's work regarding pet obesity, the well being of veterinarians and their clinics, see the related links below. To keep up with Rabon's work in the North Carolina Senate, follow him on Twitter at @SenBillRabon.

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