The filing period for North Carolina's new 9th Congressional District race opens today. Candidates have until the end of the business day Friday to enter the new election.
The state elections board ordered a new contest after a concluding a campaign operative for Republican Mark Harris tampered with absentee ballots in the November race. Harris isn't running again but a number of Republicans say they will.
Charlotte-based GOP political consultant Larry Shaheen said the new election schedule is a sprint and will favor candidates with name recognition and their own money.
"It's gonna be: get up on TV, get a grassroots operation out in the field," said Shaheen. "Get it out working, try to turn out as many of your voters as you can."
Democrat Dan McCready, who trailed Mark Harris by just 905 votes in the now discarded November race, is running, as is November's third-place finisher, Libertarian Jeff Scott.
Declared Republican candidates include state Sen. Dan Bishop, Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing who is endorsed by Mark Harris, and David Blackwelder, a one-time candidate for the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Other possible GOP contestants are former State Sen. Tommy Tucker and former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour. Ridenhour, like McCready, served in the Marine Corps.
The primary is May 14. The general election is September 10 or, if a primary run-off is needed, November 5.