Do-over primary in 9th Congressional District on Tuesday

May 14, 2019

In case you forgot, a Republican primary in the 9th Congressional District is on Tuesday.

A new election was called after Republican Mark Harris, who won the nomination last year and seemed to best Democrat Dan McCready in November’s general election, acknowledged the need for a do-over following revelations that his operative in Bladen County likely paid people to illegally collect absentee ballots.

Ten Republicans are on the ballot, including several who don’t live in the 9th District:

Harris declined to run again and endorsed Rushing for the seat.

Recent polling shows Bishop is the front-runner for the GOP nomination, with Rushing in second place.

Meredith College political science professor David McLennan said it’s been tough for candidates to differentiate themselves, given the large field and the short campaign. He said they have been competing to be perceived as the most like President Donald Trump.

“That’s smart on their part because, if we even look at the early voting, it’s been older, whiter – by extension more conservative – than we’ll expect to see in a general election,” McLennan said.

McCready is the only Democrat in the race, which also features one Green Party candidate and one Libertarian. So, there aren’t primaries for those parties.

Registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters may participate in the GOP primary. Those registered with other parties may not.

The 9th District includes all or parts of Anson, Bladen, Cumberland, Mecklenburg, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland and Union counties.

If none of the 10 Republican candidates gets at least 30 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held Sept. 10, and the general election will be Nov. 5. If a runoff isn’t needed, the general election will be on Sept. 10.