The past two Tuesdays have seen primary and general special elections to fill vacant seats in the 116th Congress in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
In North Carolina, a Republican primary was held for the 9th District, where the election results from November were thrown out due to fraud. Ten candidates declared in the primary, meaning the first-place finisher needed to clear 30% to avoid a runoff election. Luckily for Republicans, State Senator Dan Bishop easily cleared that hurdle on May 14 by earning nearly 48% of the vote. Only two of the other nine candidates received more than 10% of the vote. Amazingly, candidate Leigh Brown, who received over $1.3 million in ad spending on her behalf from the Realtors Association, was only able to garner 8.8% of the vote. Bishop’s claim to fame in North Carolina was as co-author of HB2, the so-called Bathroom Bill that required people in government buildings to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate. The passage of this bill led to a huge revolt within the national business community and to its eventual repeal.
Bishop will face off against the 2018 Democratic nominee for this seat, Dan McCready. McCready, who grew up in the area and went on to serve in the Marine Corps, has a significant cash advantage, with over $1.5 million in his campaign committee, while Bishop, after having to fight in a crowded primary, only has $184,000 left. The seat is rated as a toss-up. The general election is expected to be held on September 10 and will receive a lot of attention nationally as possible predictor of what may happen in 2020.
Pennsylvania held a special election to fill the seat of Congressman Tom Marino, who resigned earlier this year. Republican Fred Keller easily defeated Democrat Marc Friedenberg, 68% to 32%. While it is certainly good news for Republicans to hold onto this seat, the district is very Republican, with President Trump carrying the seat with a 66% to 30% margin back in 2016. This is the first special election to be held in the new Congress when Democrats took over the House, so Republicans are definitely happy with the news this week that their base at least is still fired up and turning out for President Trump a day after he visited the district.
Did you know…
…that HUPAC has a one-page infographic that explains what we do and how it works? The just published flyer is a great tool to use at chapter meetings or conferences to promote the PAC in a concise and visually appealing manner. And don’t forget to make your annual contribution before Convention!