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North Carolina's primary was a long time ago—May 8—but voters are finally going to the polls to pick nominees in three congressional districts where runoffs were required. Our roundup of all three contests is below, but first, here's a map of the Tarheel State's new (and wondrously gerrymandered) congressional map to help you follow along:

Interactive map of North Carolina's new congressional districts
NC-08 (R): This is a pretty classic contest between Beltway establishment Republicans and conservative purist meddlers. In one corner, you've got former congressional aide Richard Hudson, backed by the likes of Eric Cantor's YG Action Fund and Norm Coleman's American Action Network. In the other is former Iredell County Commissioner Scott Keadle, a favorite of the Club for Growth. (The American Dental Association has also thrown Keadle a bone, since he's a dentist.) Outside spending has been pretty evenly matched, around $837K for Hudson and $786K for Keadle.

Hudson's fundraising has also been better than Keadle's, though Keadle's loaned his own campaign over $337K, while Hudson has taken a quarter mil from PACs, which is a hefty sum for a non-incumbent. Hudson took 32 percent on primary night while Keadle scored 22 percent (sadly, uber-nutcase Vernon Robinson finished third). I'd bank on Keadle having the more enthusiastic supporters for a mid-summer, low-turnout primary. The winner will take on third-term Dem Rep. Larry Kissell in the fall.

NC-09 (R): A gazillion-way field to replace retiring GOP Rep. Sue Myrick in this very red district got whittled down, naturally, to just two on primary night: ex-state Sen. Robert Pittenger (who earned 32 percent of the vote) and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Pendergraph (25 percent). Unlike in NC-08, no third-party groups have really bothered here, probably because Pittenger, a wealthy real estate investor, has dumped $2 million of his own money into the race. The differences between the two seem to be more stylistic than ideological: Pendergraph has a reputation as more of a consensus-builder while Pittenger is a fire-breathing conservative who alienated fellow legislators during his brief tenure. For what it's worth, Myrick has endorsed Pendergraph (and Rep. Patrick McHenry is backing Pittenger). Whoever emerges victorious will face Democrat Jennifer Roberts, who is also a Mecklenburg County commissioner.

NC-11 (R): Here we have a contest between Mark Meadows, another real estate investor, and Vance Patterson, a businessman who says he's started 16 companies. (A Borscht Belt jokester would ask: "But how many did he finish?") Both candidates have self-financed a good chunk—Meadows some $264K and Patterson about $311K. But that's it for Patterson: He's eschewed traditional fundraising while Meadows has pulled in another $200K from individuals. Meadows came very close to meeting North Carolina's 40 percent threshold for avoiding runoffs with 38 percent on primary night (Patterson was well back at 24 percent), so conventional wisdom would label him the front-runner. The victor will run against Hayden Rodgers, chief-of-staff to retiring Rep. Heath Shuler, whose seat Democrats are trying to defend.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  please do not forget (4+ / 0-)

    that there is also a statewide run off for Labor Commissioner between John Brooks who is a true progressive democratic candidate that has devoted decades of service to the NC democratic party and Marlowe Foster a DINO.  If you live in NC please go out and check off your vote for John.

    He died with his potential intact.

    by bajadudes on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:29:25 AM PDT

  •  Marlowe Foster running forNC Commissioner of Labor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, davehouck, RoIn

    Radio interview
    http://voterradio.com/...

  •  2012 N.C. Voter Guide | July 17 Runoff Candidates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity

    http://ncvoterguide.org/...
    Info on all the candidates.

  •  we won re your bluenc link (0+ / 0-)

    I think it speaks for it'self.  I am not voting for a corporate lobbyist to be our candidate for labor commissioner. John Brooks has proven himself many times over to be a champion of the working class.  He would be a far better, more experienced candidate.

    He died with his potential intact.

    by bajadudes on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 09:54:28 AM PDT

  •  I voted early, number 33 in my county. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davehouck, We Won

    I voted for Forest, Goodwin, Causey, and Tedesco.

    20, Male, NC the best state ever! Majoring in Piano Performance.

    by aggou on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 12:45:52 PM PDT

  •  Whoever drew NC-12 should be flogged (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 02:32:44 PM PDT

    •  Most districts seem to fall in that category (0+ / 0-)

      My nephew who lives in NC told me that the districts in North Carolina have been changing around so much over the past 40+ years, many people lose track of who their elected representatives actually are.  The republicans have learned well from the democrats that held the political power in that state for 100 years prior to 2010 when the republicans got a majority in both houses of the legislature.  

      There has to be a better way to determine congressional districts.  Actually, that stands true for state legislature districts as well.

      The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

      by commonsensically on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 02:53:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the past 20 years, I have moved once (0+ / 0-)

        The 2 houses I have lived in are about 10 miles apart.

        Thanks to redistricting, I have lived in NC-2, NC-12, and NC-4. Come January, my old house will be in NC-1, and my current one in NC-6.

        I'm really tired of politically-based gerrymandering.

        NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

        by bear83 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 08:32:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Snark tag? (0+ / 0-)

    That district map has got to be a cruel joke..

    •  A mile... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83

      There are parts of NC-12 that are less than a mile wide... How the hell do you figure out where you're supposed to vote if the guy a mile down the road from you is in another district?

      Look at that tiny section of Deep River that connects the two parts of NC-04. Completely ridiculous. Isn't it about time something was done about this level of gerrymandering?

  •  Very low turnout in NC (0+ / 0-)
    Election administrators expected turnout statewide to be very low, at about 2.5 to 3 percent,

    Fewer than 37,000 people had turned in ballots statewide through the early voting period that ended over the weekend, or well below 1 percent of the state's nearly 6.3 million voters

    http://www.wral.com/...
    Just six counties – mostly those affected by Congressional races near Charlotte – are reporting better than a 3 percent turnout. Only 72 people had voted in Hyde County as of early afternoon, 148 in Clay and 67 in Columbus.

    That many people “would show up in the first 20 minutes of a presidential election,” Bartlett said, adding that just one-third of votes are usually cast after 2 p.m. “What’s lacking is a top of the ticket like a gubernatorial or U.S. Senate race,” Bartlett said. “It’s really sad to see the turnout being what it is.”

    Bartlett said the runoff election will cost about $6 million to 8 million.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/...

    NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

    by bear83 on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 02:43:08 PM PDT

    •  Runnoffs (0+ / 0-)

      rarely get much turnout in any state.  It's a shame, really.  But, one way to look at it is that if you do actually vote in a runoff election, your vote means FAR more than in elections with large turnouts.

      The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

      by commonsensically on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 02:55:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Norm Coleman formed American Action Network (0+ / 0-)

    for the same purpose as all these ex office holders get into the non profit game:  personal cash flow.  How much is he paying himself for whatever title he has?  Jeez Louise.

    Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

    by CarolinNJ on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 03:06:20 PM PDT

  •  I voted today (0+ / 0-)

    I was number 85 in my precinct a little past 4:00.  As mentioned above, only one contest on the ballot, Commissioner of Labor.  Interestingly, before the primary, the AFL-CIO interviewed all of the candidates for labor commissioner and decided to endorse nobody.  Yesterday, as I did before the primary, I visited the websites of the two candidates.  Neither site inspired confidence.  It seems unlikely that either of these candidates can defeat the incumbent.  But I did my research, weighed the evidence, and made my choice.  I voted for the person that I thought could best help get the vote out in November.  Interestingly, that person also happened to be the candidate that other progressives were choosing back in May for the primary; but again, it's not like we have Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger on the ballot.

  •  Democrat Jennifer Roberts, (0+ / 0-)

    ​Jennifer is a wonderful candidate; holds masters degrees in International Affairs from both John's Hopkins and the University of Toronto and is a true progressive.

    http://votejenniferroberts.com/...

    Please support her.

  •  What Next for Heath Shuler? Any Suggestions? (0+ / 0-)

    He's been a really bad quarterback (ESPN ranks him the 4th biggest draft bust of all time) and a really bad Congressman.

    He's only 40 years old - much too young to settle into being a really bad lobbyist (probably his ultimate fate).

    What do you all think Heath should try his hand at next, now that he's already left his mark on NFL and Congress?

    •  I've met people all over his district (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera

      He didn't please Democrats because he was 'too conservative', he didn't please Republicans because he was 'not conservative enough,' and he didn't please Independents because he sided 'too much with Obama.'

      He would never have won a reelection. Many people thought he would run for Governor, but this is not the year to be a Dem in NC. Bev Perdue and Obama have seen to that. The redistricting was also among the most favorable for any party in a state across the country this year.

      He might wait on the sidelines and wait for a few years before trying to jump back in. I can see him running for Gov at some point, but he was too smart to try it this year. Dalton is gonna get creamed.

      a little bit of this, a little bit of that

      by MWV on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 04:49:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's Always Been The Complaint (0+ / 0-)

        In 2010 many Democrats in NC-11 were angry with Shuler for many of his votes (most significantly against AHCA) and Republicans were convinced he was a socialist.  Yet he won with a fair amount of ease (53%) in a Republican year carrying many Republican leaning counties in the process.

        Republican gerrymandering has made NC-11 heavily Republican and the two Repugs running in today's runoff have showed even less integrity that Repugs generally do (both said in interviews with the district's biggest paper that they believe President Obama was born in the US while calling for a congressional investigation into his birth certificate at tea bagging gatherings -- both have been fanning the flames of Agenda 21 paranoia with those same groups.)

        As a result Shuler would have had a genuine shot had he ran, even if it would have been uphill.  Most forecasters give Hayden Rogers -- Shuler's Chief of Staff and the Democratic nominee a better shot of winning the new NC-11 than they give Patsy Keever of winning against Patrick McHenry in the new NC-10 and she has the advantage of having strongly Democratic Asheville.

      •  Shuler (0+ / 0-)

        should take his retirement and government health insurance and then proceed to hide in a very deep hole.  His best bet is to sell used cars in Democrat (yes there is) NC.  Should earn his place doing what retired jocks do best sell used stuff.

  •  Hayden Rogers ='s blue dog (0+ / 0-)

    I refuse - as a life long Dem - to vote for another damn republican.  I voted for that god damned shuler and rogers is no better.  He refuses to go to the charlotte convention and has followed shuler's lead as anti Obama.
    Shuler has taken a job as a lobbyist (SOB) I understand.

    If I going to have to fight for progressive ideals I refuse to make it an internecine battle.  To hell w/ bluedogs.  If rogers thinks he'll get republican votes for being a DINO he's crazy.  He losses big time.  I know many progressives who feel similary.

    •  One Size Does Not Fit All (0+ / 0-)

      I don't live in NC-11 but I know that it will not elect a progressive Democrat.  You run the most electable Democrats in each district and the unfortunate fact of the matter is that we are extremely unlikely to win back the House without some Blue Dogs.

  •  The democrats are F*cked in nc this time (0+ / 0-)

    Not despite the president but because of him. I live in the only BLUE part of nc. And trust me theyre sick of the bullshit.

    They heard "change! Hope". They got "suck it up. Outsourcing! have faith! Wait".

    NC is going red again. Good job ........................

    A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

    by cdreid on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:22:57 PM PDT

  •  Congratulations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Won

    To Mr John Brooks for his victory in the NC labor commissioner run off election. Now onward to victory in November.

    He died with his potential intact.

    by bajadudes on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 07:48:33 PM PDT

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