CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A day after winning his primary in North Carolina's 9th District, Republican Dan Bishop took his campaign to Democrat Dan McCready's doorstep Wednesday, taunting him with a cardboard cutout outside his south Charlotte headquarters.
It was an afternoon that saw both candidates square off in the same location in what's expected to be the year's highest profile special election.
Bishop hammered McCready for being vague on issues. The cutout, he told reporters, "will have as much to say as Dan McCready will today."
"The voters of the 9th District need to know what they're getting in their next congressman," Bishop said, standing outside McCready's campaign office.
Later McCready, who had no primary opponent, accused Bishop of "trolling" him and called him "an insider career politician." He also alluded to Bishop's sponsorship of House Bill 2, the 2016 law that overturned Charlotte's anti-discrimination ordinance and required people to use the bathrooms of the gender they're born with in public buildings.
"His agenda is quite possibly the worst that North Carolina has ever seen," McCready told reporters. "Every single person is this state should be terrified of what's going to happen if he gets to Washington."
It was just Day 1 of a four-month campaign to fill the 9th District seat that's been vacant since January. Voters in the district that runs from Charlotte to Bladen County will vote Sept. 10. Two third-party candidates, Libertarian Jeff Scott and the Green Party's Allen Smith, are also running.
State officials called for the special election in February after finding the 2018 contest marred by allegations of election fraud involving the campaign of Republican Mark Harris. Harris, who led McCready by 905 votes on Election Day, cited health reasons for not running again. On Tuesday Bishop easily defeated nine other Republicans. McCready had no primary.
On Wednesday Bishop also started running a new TV ad designed to cast him as "the right Dan."
"I'm conservative Dan," he says in the ad. "Pro-life. Pro-gun. And pro-wall. The Dan who stands strong on principle. Wrong Dan? He'll fall right in line with his friends -- socialists, radicals, they hate the values that made America great." The ad shows the McCready cutout falling onto those of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.