Results show voters wanted new representation for Congress, sheriff
MONROE – North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District will have a new congressman come January.
Former First Baptist Church of Charlotte pastor Mark Harris stunned three-term incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger to win the Republican Primary on May 8 in what was a rematch of the 2016 GOP primary, which Pittenger won by 134 votes.
Harris tallied 17,223 votes (48.52 percent) to Pittenger’s 16,409 votes (46.23 percent) in unofficial returns. Fayetteville banker Clarence Goins finished third with 1,862 votes (5.25 percent). Pittenger is the first incumbent congressman in the country in either party to be defeated so far in 2018.
Harris won the Republican stronghold of Union County with 54 percent of the vote, outpolling Pittenger 7,472-5,867.
“From the beginning, this race has been about giving the people of this district a voice,” Harris told supporters at a watch party in Indian Trail. “You have stood up tonight across the ninth district, and you have made that voice loud and clear.”
Pittenger made brief remarks while conceding the race May 8 at a watch party in Monroe and thanked supporters in an e-mail his campaign sent out May 9. That e-mail was also critical of Harris.
“Regarding the campaign, Mark Harris was successful in convincing enough voters that I supported Planned Parenthood (NRTL wrote a letter stating that was not true). He even stated that I opposed border funding, supported sanctuary cities and amnesty, all fabricated and nonsense, as I am a sponsor of legislation to the contrary. We were blindsided with these baseless attacks and clearly did not respond in an adequate manner.”
Harris will now face Democratic Party nominee Dan McCready in the November general election. McCready, a Marine veteran and small business owner who grew up in Charlotte, easily won the Democratic Primary with 83 percent of the vote. McCready’s vote total of 37,823 was more than the three Republican candidates combined.
“From day one, this campaign has been about putting country over party, and showing every North Carolina family that I’m there to fight for them,” said McCready told his supporters after declaring victory May 8. “Tonight, we celebrated, but tomorrow, we get back to work to get our country back on track.”
In the North Carolina 12th Congressional District, incumbent Alma Adams cruised to victory when she defeated three opponents with 86 percent of the vote. Paul Wright won the Republican Primary when he defeated two opponents with 43 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Sen. Dan Bishop easily won the State Senate District 39 Republican Primary when he trounced challenger Beth Monaghan with 71 percent of the vote. District 39 contains parts of South Charlotte and stretches into Matthews and Mint Hill.
Bishop will face either Chad Stachowicz or Ann Harlan in November. Stachowicz led Harlan by just five votes, 5,219-5214, with all precincts reporting in the Democratic Primary on election night, but a recount is expected.
Gary McFadden will be the next sheriff in Mecklenburg County when he easily won the three-way Democratic Primary with 52 percent of the vote. McFadden is running unopposed in November. Antoine Ensley finished second in the race with 27 percent of the vote while incumbent sheriff Irwin Carmichael was third with 20 percent of the vote.
In the race for Mecklenburg District Attorney, Spencer Merriweather defeated Toussaint Romain with 78 percent of the vote. Merriweather will become the first elected African-American district attorney in the county’s history as he is running unopposed in November.
Pat Cotham, Trevor Fuller and Ella Scarborough were the top three finishers in the at-large Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners race in the Democratic Primary. All three advance to the general election where Republican Jeremy Brasch is also on the ballot for the three at-large seats on the board.