Winners, losers, runoffs in congressional races 

Two primary contests are headed to May 14 runoffs

Addison McDowell, pictured at the Donald Trump rally in Greensboro on March 2, will face former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker in the May 14 runoff for the right to represent North Carolina’s 6th District in Congress since no one entered the Democratic primary. (PJ Ward-Brown / North State Journal)

RALEIGH — Incumbents came out on top by strong margins while races with multiple candidates were much tighter in the North Carolina March 5 congressional primaries. 

With five seats in Congress open this year, certain races had multiple Republicans vying for a spot. Democrats Jeff Jackson, Kathy Manning, and Wiley Nickel opted not to run again for their seats following congressional map redistricting.  

Republican U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry and Dan Bishop also decided not to run for reelection. McHenry retired, while Bishop opted to run for state attorney general — as did Jackson, who secured the Democratic nomination in his primary race. Bishop had no Republican primary challenger. 

In contrast to the maps crafted by state judges for the 2022 elections, which saw Democrats and Republicans each getting seven congressional seats, the current maps suggest a high probability of the GOP securing at least 10 of the 14 seats. 

Two races ended up in a runoff — Districts 6 and 13. The runoff election date is set for May 14. 

The results will not be official until after the 10-day canvass period is completed. Overseas and military ballots returned by the deadline won’t be added to the mix until the canvass period after county boards of election have approved them. 

Voter turnout this year was lower than that of the last primary held during a presidential election year despite over a half-million more registered voters on the rolls. 

Across the state’s 2,600 polling places, 1,790,838 ballots were cast out of a possible 7,456,236, or 24.02%. During the primary in 2020, there were 2,164,731 ballots cast out of 6,940,995, or 31.19%. 

The only race rated as a “toss-up” by Cook Political Report (CPR) was District 1. The 2nd, 4th and 12th districts are ranked “solid Democrat,” while the remaining districts have Republican leans ranging between 8-plus and 11-plus percentage points. 

District 1: Republican Laurie Buckout won 52.49% of the vote, defeating Sandy Smith. Buckout now faces incumbent Democrat Don Davis. As of March 5, Cook Political Report (CPR) rates this race as a toss-up. 

District 2: Deborah Ross, the Democratic incumbent, easily won reelection with more than 93% of the vote over challenger Michael Camero. She will now face Alan D. Swain in November. Swain emerged as the Republican winner with nearly 60% of the vote over Eugene F. Douglass and Robert Morales Vergara.  

District 3: Incumbent Republican Rep. Greg Murphy had no primary challenge and will have no Democratic opponent in the fall election. Instead, he will face Libertarian Gheorghe Cormos.  

District 4: Republican Eric Blankenburg easily defeated Mahesh (Max) Ganorkar with more than 70% and moved ahead to challenge former state legislator and incumbent Freshman Democrat Rep. Valerie Foushee for her seat.  

District 5: Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, an incumbent who has held her seat for the past 19 years, easily defeated her challenger Ryan Mayberry by taking in nearly 69% of the vote. Foxx will face Chuck Hubbard, who was uncontested in the Democratic primary. 

District 6: Donald Trump-backed Addison McDowell and former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker will have a rematch in the May 14 runoff election. 

District 7: Incumbent Republican Rep. David Rouzer will face Democrat challenger Marlando Pridgen. The seat is considered plus-8 Republican by CPR. 

District 8: Former District 9 Republican candidate Mark Harris managed to earn over 30% of the vote midway through the night and kept it, avoiding a runoff against second-place finisher Allan Baucom. In that primary, John R. Bradford finished third, followed by Don Brown, Leigh Brown and Chris Maples. Harris will move on to face Democrat Justin Dues in November.  

District 9: Incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson defeated challenger Troy L. Tarazon with more than 83% of the vote. Hudson is heavily favored against Democrat Nigel Bristow in the general election. 

District 10: Pat Harrigan won the race with Republican primary with more than 41% of the vote, beating incumbent Grey Mills (39%) and three other candidates. Harrigan will face newcomer Democrat Ralph Scott Jr. in November.  

District 11: Incumbent Freshman Republican Rep. Chuck Edwards beat Christian Reagan with just under 69% of the vote. Edwards took over the District 11 seat after defeating Madison Cawthorn in the 2022 primary. Edwards will now face Democrat Caleb Rudow. 

District 12: Nine-year incumbent Democrat Alma Adams will face Republican challenger Addul Ali, a Charlotte area businessman, podcaster and past chair of the Cabarrus GOP. 

District 13: In the 14-person all-Republican race, no candidate secured more than 30% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff. On May 14, Kelly Republicans Kelly Daughtry, the top vote-getter with 27.38%, and second-place Brad Knott (18.68%) will have a rematch. The winner of the May 14 runoff will face Democrat Frank Pierce. 

District 14: On the Democrat side, Pam Genant defeated Brendan K. Maginnis. She will face Republican North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, who secured his spot against Jeff Gregory and Lillian Joseph by winning more than 75% of the vote. Earlier this month, Trump endorsed Moore’s bid. 

About A.P. Dillon 1293 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_