North Carolina state Sen. Dan Bishop, the Republican nominee in the do-over special election for the 9th Congressional District
On Tuesday night, North Carolina’s 9th District held its primaries for the do-over special election after last year’s race was invalidated due to Republican election fraud, and state Sen. Dan Bishop won the GOP nod outright. He’ll now face Marine veteran Dan McCready, who was the Democratic nominee in 2018, in the Sept. 10 general election for this suburban Charlotte seat.
Bishop led the 10-person field with 48%, well above the 30% threshold he needed to avoid a runoff, while Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing was a distant second with 20%. Former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour finished third with 17%, while real estate agent Leigh Thomas Brown ended up in fourth with just 9%, despite the fact that the deep-pocketed National Association of Realtors, where she’s once served as an official, spent a massive $1.3 million to help her.
Bishop is infamous for authoring a notorious piece of anti-LGBT legislation, House Bill 2—better known as the North Carolina “bathroom bill.” The law, which required anyone using bathrooms at schools or public facilities to use the restroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate, caused a national backlash and led a number of major corporations to cancel planned expansions in the state.
It not only gave North Carolina a black eye but also contributed to GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s narrow defeat in 2016. (The measure was rolled back the following year under McCrory’s Democratic successor, Roy Cooper.) Bishop’s career survived, though, and last year, he was re-elected 53-47 in a seat that Donald Trump carried 50-47.
McCready and Bishop will face off in a congressional district that’s even more conservative: the 9th backed Trump by a challenging 54-43 margin. However, McCready performed very well last year. The voided results showed him just 905 votes behind his Republican opponent, Mark Harris, and he may well have won were it not for the fraud perpetrated by Harris operatives.
McCready is also a very strong fundraiser, and he had a hefty $1.57 million to $184,000 cash-on-hand lead over Bishop as of April 24. However, national Republicans are going to do everything they can to score a win here, and we should expect them to spend whatever it takes to defend this seat over the next four months.