Trump-backed Republican wins key North Carolina race

With strong backing from President Trump, Republican Dan Bishop wins special election for North Carolina congressional seat.

David Rosenberg ,

Dan Bishop shakes hands with Donald Trump on day of special election
Dan Bishop shakes hands with Donald Trump on day of special election

Republican Dan Bishop won a special election for the US House of Representatives seat in North Carolina’s 9th district Tuesday, after his razor-thin victory last November was thrown out amid allegations of possible electoral fraud.

Bishop, who represented the 39th district in North Carolina’s State Senate, defeated Democrat Dan McCready, a businessman and Marine Corps veteran, by nearly four thousand votes, or just over two percent, with 50.74% to McCready’s 48.66%.

Last November, Bishop bested McCready by just 905 votes.

Allegations of fraud led to a repeat election, however, after the state elections board refused to certify the results.

The special election has been seen as a test for Republicans’ electoral prospects in 2020, given the 9th congressional district’s Republican leanings. Trump won the 9th district by 12 points – 54% to 42%, and Bishop’s predecessor, Robert Pittenger, won reelection in 2016 by more than 16 points – 58.2% to 41.8%.

Democrats hoped to flip the seat, however, during the 2018 election, which saw Democrats sweeping control of the House of Representatives.

Polls leading up to Tuesday’s special election showed McCready with a double-digit lead over Bishop, fueling Democratic hopes not only for an expanded majority in the House, but also the prospect of dealing an embarrassing blow to Republicans.

In particular, a defeat of the staunchly conservative Bishop would have been perceived as a rebuke of President Trump, who actively campaigned on Bishop’s behalf.

“Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night. Now it looks like he is going to win,” Trump tweeted late Tuesday night.

North Carolina also held a second special election Tuesday, filling the vacancy left when Walter Jones, who represented the state’s 3rd congressional district in the US House of Representatives, died in February.

Republican Greg Murphy defeated Democrat Allen Thomas by a large margin, as widely expected, 61.7% to 37.5%.