A Gay Marriage Opponent Just Ousted A GOP Incumbent in North Carolina

Credit Creative Commons- NAACP New Orleans

Some registrants had no primaries in which to vote because there are no statewide races on Tuesday's ballot.

Republican Mark Harris has bested incumbent Robert Pittenger in the ninth congressional district, the most significant upset in races for federal office across North Carolina in Tuesday's primary.

In a district President Donald Trump carried by 12 points in 2016, Pittenger and Harris sparred over loyalty to the president. Three Democrats-Linda Coleman, Ken Romley, and Wendy Ella May-are running to challenge likely Republican candidate George Holding in the 2nd district.

Among the Republican incumbents facing the most serious challenges in Tuesday's voting are be Reps.

Michael Bitzer, a Catawba College political science professor who analyzes early voting data, said he anticipates overall primary turnout will reach around 15 percent, or about 1 million voters.

State elections executive director Kim Strach said Monday that competitive races for sheriff also are boosting voter interest: "There are some counties that are seeing really good turnout".

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"I think the fact that that we have an atypical president in the White House who has come into office from a non-traditional background and unsettled the kind of political establishment", Kappler said, "creates an environment in which candidates across the country and up and down the ballot in North Carolina may feel a little bit more emboldened to participate as a candidate themselves".

Bitzer said the fact that almost 60 percent of early primary ballots cast were for the Democratic primary "shows that there is enthusiasm at the grassroots level among Democrats".

She now faces freshman incumbent Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina's 13th district, a once reliable Democratic district that trends Republican after recent redistricting.

Democrats were already excited about their prospects in the district - and Republicans were nervous - because of a top-tier recruit, Marine Corps veteran and businessman Dan McCready (D).

Voters are getting a chance again to choose between two candidates in a North Carolina Congressional District. A handful of Libertarian primaries also are being held.

McCready faces off today with primary challenger Christian Cano, an openly gay candidate who has made waves after calling McCready a "coward" and "pussy" and making other off-color remarks and insults about other leaders.

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