[Rushtalk] North Carolina’s Robert Pittenger Is First Incumbent to Lose in 2018

Carl Spitzer cwsiv at juno.com
Mon May 21 08:58:48 MDT 2018

North Carolina’s Robert Pittenger Is First Incumbent to Lose in 2018

GOP congressman fell to repeat primary challenger Mark Harris 

Posted May 8, 2018 10:33 PM 
Simone Pathé @sfpathe A Clash of Experiences in Kentucky’s 6th District
Democratic Primary Political Foes Turned Podcasting Friends At the
Races: 6 Months to Go Save for later 

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger has lost a GOP primary rematch with
former pastor Mark Harris. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Simone Pathé @sfpathe Posted May 8, 2018 10:33 PM 
Save for later 
North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is the first incumbent of 2018 to
lose, falling to former pastor Mark Harris in Tuesday’s 9th District
Republican primary.

Harris defeated Pittenger 48.5 percent to 46 percent, reversing the
result from two years ago when the latter won by just 134 votes in a

President Donald Trump carried the district, which stretches along the
South Carolina border and includes affluent neighborhoods of Charlotte
and its suburbs, by 12 points in 2016. Pittenger and Harris both sparred
over loyalty to the president. 

After his close call two years ago, Pittenger seemed to be taking his
re-election more seriously this year. His campaign had outspent Harris
as of the pre-primary reporting period. And he started earlier than he
did two years ago. His campaign debuted a Christmas ad last year to try
to undercut Harris’ message.

Pittenger also wasn’t facing an FBI investigation that dogged him two
years ago, when he was running in a newly redrawn district and had to
introduce himself to new voters. 

Harris could face a competitive general election against a Democratic
recruit who’s outraised Pittenger. Solar energy financier and Marine
veteran Dan McCready easily won his primary Tuesday night.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely

Meanwhile, in North Carolina’s 3rd District, 12-term Republican Rep.
Walter B. Jones won a contested three-way primary for what he has said
will be his final term. With his opponents splitting the anti-Jones
vote, the incumbent comfortably moved on to the general election with 43
percent of the vote. Inside Elections rates the race Solid Republican. 

Watch: 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Congressional Primaries

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