April 22nd, 2024

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s win marks big change in state’s congressional delegation

By Jeffrey Collins, The Associated Press on March 5, 2024.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore won the Republican nomination for Congress in the state’s 14th District on Tuesday, starting what was expected to be a thorough shake-up of the U.S. House delegation.

The 14th is one of three congressional districts expected to flip from Democrats to Republicans in the November election after the state’s Republican-controlled General Assembly redrew voting maps fashioned by judges for the 2022 elections.

The new map seems likely to transform a delegation now comprising seven Democrats and seven Republicans to one with 10 Republicans and four Democrats.

In the wake of the redistricting changes, five incumbents didn’t run for another term. Democratic Reps. Jeff Jackson, Kathy Manning and Wiley Nickel decided to forgo reelection bids in districts that are now much more heavily tilted toward Republicans. Republican Reps. Dan Bishop and Patrick McHenry are stepping aside for unrelated reasons.

SEATS THAT ARE LIKELY TO FLIP

While two of the seats likely to flip from Democratic to Republican have attracted large fields of candidates, Moore easily defeated two Republican opponents.

The Speaker’s colleagues in the General Assembly redrew the 14th District in a way that seems to ensure the Kings Mountain lawyer will get his wish to serve in Congress. Moore is leaving the state Legislature after 21 years.

Pam Genant and Brendan Maginnis are running for the Democratic nomination in the district, which includes portions of Charlotte and points west to the foothills.

Fourteen Republicans are competing for the open 13th District, now shaped like a horseshoe running north, east and south around Raleigh.

Candidates include Kelly Daughtry, a Smithfield attorney, and Johnston County businessman DeVan Barbour, both of whom ran in the 2022 primary. Television ads have helped raise the profiles of Wake Forest businessman Fred Von Canon and former federal prosecutor Brad Knott of Raleigh. And Josh McConkey of Apex, a physician who served in Iraq, gained attention after winning a state lottery jackpot. The nominee will take on Democrat Frank Pierce in November.

Six Republicans are running for the nomination in the currently Democratic 6th District. Blue Cross and Blue Shield lobbyist and political newcomer Addison McDowell has received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

McDowell’s rivals include Bo Hines, who received Trump’s endorsement before winning the 13th District GOP nomination in 2022, and former Rep. Mark Walker, who served in Congress in the Greensboro area for six years through 2020.

No Democrat filed to run in the seat, which stretches from Greensboro and Winston-Salem south and west to Concord.

North Carolina law allows for a runoff if a candidate does not receive more than 30% of the vote. The second-place candidate has to request another election, which would take place May 14.

WHAT RACES WILL BE COMPETITIVE?

In the open 8th District seat, the Rev. Mark Harris is running again for the Republican nomination. Harris appeared to receive the most votes in the 2018 general election for Congress, but never took office. A new election was ordered over an absentee ballot fraud probe and he decided not to run again. He now calls what happened a “manufactured scandal.”

Also in the six-candidate race is state Rep. John Bradford of Charlotte. Justin Dues is the only Democrat running in the district, which stretches from Charlotte east to Lumberton.

The 10th district came open when McHenry, who had a brief stint in 2023 as the U.S. House speaker, unexpectedly announced that he wasn’t running again.

The five Republicans seeking the party’s nomination in the 10th include 2022 congressional candidate Pat Harrigan and state Rep. Grey Mills. The winner will take on Democrat Ralph Scott Jr. and a Libertarian Party candidate in the November general election.

Previous election data shows there remains one likely swing district in North Carolina. First-term Democratic Rep. Don Davis is running for reelection in the 1st District. He could end up in a 2022 rematch with Republican Sandy Smith. She is competing with ex-Army colonel Laurie Buckhout for the GOP nomination for the district in the northeast part of the state.

WHAT OTHER INCUMBENTS ARE RUNNING?

Several Republican incumbents are running again, including Rep. Virginia Foxx, who faces one other Republican as she seeks an 11th term from the 5th District in northwestern North Carolina.

Republican Reps. Greg Murphy in the eastern 3rd District and David Rouzer in the southeastern 7th District are unopposed in the primaries. Chuck Edwards in the far-western 11th District won his party’s primary on Tuesday. Richard Hudson in the Piedmont and Sandhills-area 9th District is also seeking reelection and faces an opponent he vastly outspent.

Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross in the Raleigh-dominated 2nd District faces an opponent while Rep. Valerie Foushee in the Durham-area 4th District and Rep. Alma Adams in Charlotte’s 12th District are unopposed in the primary.

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