- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A new congresswoman keeps running for her current seat although the district was redrawn an hour away from her home. Several Republican incumbents are getting hassled by challengers for not being conservative enough. And a veteran congressman is fighting the same rivals again.

These are among the story lines for Tuesday’s U.S. House primary elections, delayed three months by the General Assembly after judges ruled boundaries for two districts were illegal racial gerrymanders. The legislature’s rewrite affected all 13 districts.

Eleven districts are holding at least one party primary. The most interesting may be in the 2nd and 13th Districts.

Incumbent Renee Ellmers is facing 13th District Rep. George Holding and Cary doctor Greg Brannon in the 2nd District GOP primary. Five Democrats also are running in the 2nd. Holding currently represents the 13th but was drawn out of that district when it shifted west of the Triangle. That created essentially an opening in the 13th, where 22 people are running - 17 Republicans and five Democrats.

Here’s a look at other top races:


U.S. Rep. Alma Adams had lived in Greensboro for decades when she won the 12th District seat in November 2014. Her district stretched like an arch along the Interstate 85 corridor between Charlotte and Greensboro.

Now the Democratic-leaning district is entirely in Mecklenburg County, but Adams still decided to run in it.

Adams has a large fundraising advantage and reinforced her emphasis on Charlotte by shifting her voter registration to Mecklenburg and leasing a condo there, but critics have questioned whether she has truly moved. Candidates are not required to live in the district in which they run.

Six other Democrats filed, four of which are Mecklenburg County residents and former or current members of the legislature, like Adams. They include former Sen. Malcolm Graham, who finished second to Adams in the 2014 primaries. Current Reps. Tricia Cotham and Carla Cunningham also are running. Rep. Rodney Moore is on the ballot but suspended his campaign.

The winner will take on one of three Republicans also running Tuesday.


The 9th District that U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger has represented since 2013 is no longer largely in affluent, suburban Charlotte. It now stretches from southeast Mecklenburg east toward poorer counties along the South Carolina border, then north toward Fayetteville.

Pittenger is facing new Republican rivals in Mark Harris, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, and former Union County Commissioner Todd Johnson. Harris finished third in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary and led a statewide effort to pass a 2012 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, now overturned.

Pittenger has outspent Harris so far. He’s won the endorsement of the anti-abortion National Right to Life and offered recently a successful House amendment designed to prevent the U.S. government from taking away federal funds from North Carolina for a new state law addressing bathroom use by transgender people.

The winner will take on Democrat Christian Cano in November.


The Republican-leaning 3rd District didn’t change much in redistricting, so the same two GOP challengers to 11-term U.S. Rep. Walter Jones for the March primary that never occurred also filed to run against him in June.

They are Taylor Griffin of New Bern, a former employee in President George W. Bush’s administration who narrowly lost to Jones in the 2014 primary, and former Marine Phil Law of Jacksonville. Jones has been a frequent critic of the House Republican leaders and opposed the Iraq war.

Two candidates are in the Democratic primary.


Well-connected GOP incumbents are facing primary opponents seeking to run to the right of them.

Tenth District Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chief deputy whip in the House, has three challengers in Jeff Gregory of Shelby, Jeffrey Baker of Belmont and Albert Lee Wiley Jr. of Salter Path.

McHenry has been in Congress since 2005, as has 5th District Rep. Virginia Foxx, who has an elected position within the House Republican Conference. Foxx’s challenger is Pattie Curran of Kernersville, a conservative activist.

In the 8th District, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson is challenged by Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford. D’Annunzio lost in a GOP runoff in 2010 in the 8th District. Hudson was previously an aide to then-U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes.

First-term GOP Rep. Mark Walker is seeking to win the 6th District primary over Chris Hardin of Browns Summit.

The winners will have Democratic opponents in the fall. Three Democrats are running in the 5th District primary.

Elections are being held to determine November challengers to 4th District Democratic Rep. David Price and 11th District GOP Rep. Mark Meadows.

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