The first incumbent electoral casualty of the 2018 election season occurred last night in southern North Carolina. Two years ago, after a mid-decade court-ordered redistricting radically changed the 9th Congressional District, making 60% of the territory new to Rep. Bob Pittenger (R-Charlotte) soon before the 2016 primary, he and former Charlotte area pastor Mark Harris fought to a virtual draw in the GOP primary. In that year, Rep. Pittenger survived by only a 134-vote margin. Last night, the tables turned. Mr. Harris denied Rep. Pittenger re-nomination with a 48.5 – 46.2% percentage spread, a margin of 814 votes.
Mr. Harris will now face Democratic businessman Dan McCready, who has already raised almost $2 million for his campaign. Mr. McCready is also on record saying he will not support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House should the Democrats capture the majority in November. The 9th District, which now stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville along the South Carolina border, looks to be competitive in the fall. But, President Trump carried the seat by nine percentage points in 2016, and Rep. Pittenger won the general election with 58% of the vote, so the voting trends clearly lean Republican.
The Rundown Blog
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