The special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District came to a close Sept. 10 with Republican Dan Bishop’s narrow victory over Democrat Dan McCready. The election, which was held due to voter fraud in 2018, concluded with Bishop earning 96,000 votes and McCready earning 92,000, a difference of only 2 percent.
In the 2018 election, Republican Mark Harris went head to head with McCready in a district that has been red since the 1960s. Harris seemed to win by a narrow margin of 905 votes, but before the results could be confirmed, evidence surfaced of voter fraud. An investigation was held by the election board which concluded that an operative under Harris had illegally tampered with absentee ballots. The election results from 2018 were voided and a special election was ordered.
Once the special election was announced, Harris backed out, claiming health issues and a Republican primary determined Bishop would front the GOP’s campaign in opposition to McCready. McCready ran on a relatively moderate platform, promising to “always put country over party” and to seek bipartisan solutions to issues such as healthcare and education. Bishop branded himself as a “pro-life, pro-gun, pro-wall” conservative aligned firmly with President Trump and argued that his opponent would fall in line with other congressional representatives as Rep. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes.
Even Trump recognized the importance of the special election, traveling to Fayetteville on Sept. 9 to rally for Bishop, tweeting, “Big day in North Carolina tomorrow. Make sure you get out and VOTE for Dan Bishop in #NC09!” He asserted that victory in the 9th District would be crucial to winning more power for the GOP in congress, despite the House being majority democratic.
Bishop’s narrow victory in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District may have implications for the 2020 election, but it also adds one more Republican to the House for that much more political sway.
By Tess Perdue