North Carolina’s congressional delegation headed for a shake-up with 5 open seats and party shifts

Tuesday’s primaries mark the start of what will likely be an exceptional change in the composition of the U.S. House delegation in North Carolina.

In anticipation of this year’s election, the Republican-controlled General Assembly redrew districts drawn by judges two years before. Based on past election results, the changes seem 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 of the 14 incumbents are not running 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

Two of the seats likely to flip from Democratic to Republican have attracted large fields of candidates. A third appears poised to send North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore to Washington.

Moore’s Republican 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.”




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