Of the handful of 2024 primary elections resulting in a runoff — in North Carolina the threshold for a primary candidate to win outright is 30% — only one involved a race for a seat in congress. That runoff race for Congressional District 13 became moot on Thursday when one of the two candidates announced she was dropping out, less than two weeks before Election Day.

“As a candidate, it is my duty to be transparent and honest with my team, supporters, and the voters,” wrote Kelly Daughtry in a post on her campaign Facebook page. “In light of President Trump’s endorsement of Brad Knott for the Congressional seat in District 13, it has become clear that a pathway to victory is no longer feasible. I believe in the democratic process and respect the endorsement of our President. The time has now come to suspend my campaign. Although I will no longer be a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in. I will focus on conservative voter registration operations and supporting the nominated conservative judicial candidates running in November.”

Brad Knott, Daughtry’s opponent and a former federal prosecutor, received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump last month. Prior to the endorsement, a core messaging thrust of the Daughtry campaign was depicting Knott as a “Never Trumper” and “Biden’s lawyer.” Knott was a prosecutor for the US Department of Justice during the Biden administration.

From Brad Knott for Congress Facebook page

“Brad Knott is a Strong Patriot who is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District against a RINO, Kelly Daughtry, who has given money to Far Left Democrats, pledged to vote for Obama, and is no friend to MAGA,” read Trump’s endorsement of Knott. “A Former Federal Prosecutor, Brad will fight hard to Support our Great Law Enforcement and Military, Secure our Border, Protect our always under siege Second Amendment, and hold Joe Biden and the Radical Left ACCOUNTABLE for their Unconstitutional Lawfare, Corruption, and ELECTION INTERFERENCE. The Runoff for this Important Race is May 14th, so GET OUT AND VOTE. Brad Knott has my Complete and Total Endorsement – He will never let you down!”

The North Carolina Republican Party reacted to the news that they’ll have one less intra-party competition to settle before full throttle general election mode.

“Congratulations to Brad Knott! He will be an outstanding Congressman for the 13th Congressional District fighting to secure our Southern border and strengthen our economy,” said NCGOP Chairman Jason Simmons in a statement.

“Kelly has run a strong campaign rooted in her conservatism,” Simmons added. “Her decision is one that puts her values and her party above her own personal gain. Her continued involvement will ensure Republicans win up and down the ballot in November.” 

The development could be interpreted as a testament to the power of a Trump endorsement. While such an endorsement is sure to produce different levels of impact across distinct districts, its effect in District 13 was to propel Knott to the front of the runoff race. At the heart of the district lies Johnston County, a conservative leaning electorate with which the Trump endorsement apparently resonated.

The runoff election is May 14. Check out the runoff races that are still in play, here.