Kissell Upsets Incumbent Congressman Hayes
Kissell celebrated in downtown Biscoe at a place locals call "Jeff and Jean's Kitchen." It's a small building in a back yard that serves as a community center. The event had the feel of a big Super Bowl party. Cheers erupted from the roughly 100 people in attendance as they watched Congressman Hayes concede on a big screen TV. Minutes later, Kissell addressed supporters as he was surrounded by his wife, two daughters and 93-year-old mother. "One of the things I wanted to accomplish from the very beginning was to prove that this is the greatest nation on Earth and it's still possible for someone, just a regular person, to run for Congress if they have the right ideas then people will listen," said Kissell. Nearly everyone in attendance knew Kissell, many for years. Alan Zigarelli proudly called Kissell a friend he's known for 22 years. Zigarelli says he was confidant Kissell would pull off a victory this time around. "It was such a close election 2 years ago and no one had ever heard of him. I felt like I know the kind of worker he is and the support he had and it helped not having a lot of completion during the primary so I really thought that this would happen," remarked Zigarelli. Kissell says he next plans to take a day off to call friends and supporters to thank them for their efforts in the campaign, before gearing up for his work in Washington come January. At Lowe's Motor Speedway, Congressman Robin Hayes addressed supporters. "Everywhere I look I see wonderful memories of what we've been able to accomplish together. I'm proud of you all," Hayes said. "I appreciate all you've done. We been blessed by knowing you, the country been blessed by what you've done. We love you." After 10 years in office, Hayes says he has no regrets. He says the anti-Republican sentiment was too much to overcome. "It didn't filter down, it came pouring down. They had a lot of money and put lots of people on the ground. I gotta take my hat off to them." Hayes says he'll do what he can to make the transition a smooth one and doesn't rule out running for office again in 2010.