Democrats Could Swing At Least Two NC Congressional Districts

Sep 27, 2018

Credit Preliminary 2016 election results / N.C. Board of Elections

Republicans surely will hold onto their majority of North Carolina's 13-seat congressional delegation this fall but Democrats believe they can swing two, if not three, districts.

The candidates battling for the 9th District, which runs from the southeast Charlotte suburbs, along the South Carolina border, to Fayetteville, have already raised a total of $3.5 million, the most of any race in the state, according to the Center for  Responsive Politics website, opensecrets.org.

Most of that amount has been raised by Democratic candidate Dan McCready.

"Now I see politicians so concerned with partisan games they've forgotten who they're supposed to serve. I'll put country over party to get things done," McCready said in a TV ad.

McCready has raised more than $2.5 million. A combat veteran, McCready has gotten money from political action committees linked to Democratic congressional leaders like Maryland's Steny Hoyer and South Carolina's James Clyburn.

His opponent is Republican Pastor Mark Harris, who has raised just under a million dollars.

Harris got a fundraising boost from Donald Trump a few of weeks ago, something he said he would need in a race drawing so much outside attention and money.

"That's part of the motivation for the president to come... and help us be able to build up our coffers," Harris told a local Charlotte-area TV station.

The 13th district race between incumbent Republican Ted Budd and Democrat Kathy Manning is equally competitive.

In a 2016 ad, Budd introduced himself as an alternative to career politicians, saying he wanted to help fix things in Washington and then return home.

"I'm a gun store owner, husband and father of three. I've never run for office and I couldn't care less about a career in Congress," he said in that ad.

Fast-forward two years, and about half of the $1.1 million Budd has raised so far in his re-election campaign has come from PACs, including the More Conservatives PAC established by North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry.

Manning has pledged not to take corporate PAC money.

"That's why I'm running, to clean house in Washington. I vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker, support term limits for party leaders and I won't take a dime of corporate PAC money," Manning said in an ad.

Manning has taken money from issues-oriented PACs. About 8.5 percent of the $1.9 million she has raised has come from groups committed to women's rights and campaign finance reform.

Budd and Manning have raised more than $3 million combined to date, the second most among North Carolina congressional races.