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3 questions North Carolina primaries may answer

Mary Ellen McIntire, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — Between redistricting and retirements, North Carolina is set to have at least five new members of Congress next year. Because of how the congressional map is drawn, those new members from the Tar Heel State next year are likely to be Republicans.

Democratic Reps. Kathy Manning, Wiley Nickel and Jeff Jackson all decided not to run for reelection because their districts were redrawn to favor Republicans. The races for all three seats are now rated Likely Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. Jackson is on the ballot running for attorney general, while Nickel said he would run for Senate in 2026.

Republican Rep. Dan Bishop is also running for state attorney general, opening up the 8th District. Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, a close ally of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, is also retiring. Republicans should easily hold both seats in November. The races to fill those seats are all rated Solid Republican.

A candidate needs to win more than 30% of the vote to secure the nomination. If not, the top two vote-getters compete in a May 14 runoff. Below are three questions voters may answer on Tuesday.

Who fills newly drawn red seats?

6th District: Democrats don’t have a candidate running in this district, so whichever Republican wins the primary will be headed to Congress next year. First they must come out on top of a six-way primary. Former Rep. Mark Walker, who lost a Senate primary two years ago, is seeking a comeback to the House. Bo Hines, who lost a close 2022 race to Nickel in the 13th District, is also running here, as is lobbyist Addison McDowell, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Christian Castelli, a retired Green Beret who was the GOP nominee in the 6th District in 2022, is running again. Jay Wagner and Mary Ann Contogiannis round out the field.

 

Castelli had the most cash on hand for the final two weeks of the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures through Feb. 14. Hines had spent the most, having self-funded 55 percent of his campaign’s $1.1 million in receipts through then and he put $255,000 more of his own money in in recent days.

Outside groups have also spent more than $2.4 million on the race, mostly aimed at Hines or Walker. The Club for Growth Action, which is supporting Hines, has dropped $995,000 opposing Walker, a former chair of the Republican Study Committee. A group called Awake Carolina has spent $408,000 supporting Walker and another $27,000 opposing Hines. Conservatives for American Excellence, meanwhile, spent $877,000 against Hines.

13th District: 14 Republicans are vying for the nomination in this district, which wraps around Raleigh. Two candidates, DeVan Barbour and Kelly Daughtry, previously ran for the Republican nomination in the district in 2022, placing second and third, respectively, behind Hines. Daughtry, an attorney, leads the field in fundraising, having loaned her campaign more than $2 million. Another candidate, businessman Fred Von Canon loaned himself $1.9 million.

A super PAC supporting Brad Knott, a former federal prosecutor, has spent $1.2 million supporting Knott and opposing Daughtry and Von Canon. Knott himself has trailed those two in fundraising, loaning himself $100,000, but that outside spending could be beneficial to boosting his name ID.

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