News: CJ Exclusives

Order set for 9th District primary; 10 Republicans seeking seat

Counties in 9th Congressional District (screenshot from State Board of Elections website)
Counties in 9th Congressional District (screenshot from State Board of Elections website)

Ten Republicans are among the 13 candidates seeking election to the vacant 9th U.S. Congressional District seat after the 2018 contest was marred with so much fraud the State Board of Elections ordered a new contest.

Candidate filing ended at 5 p.m. Friday, March 15. Only the Republican Party drew multiple candidates. It will be the only party to hold a May 14 primary. The general election is scheduled Sept. 10.

Among recognizable candidates seeking the GOP primary nomination are two-term state Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte, who also served one term in the House; former three-term state House member and one-term state senator Fern Shubert, who previously ran for governor and state auditor; Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing, who was endorsed by last year’s 9th District nominee Mark Harris; former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour; and two-time 10th Congressional District candidate Albert Wiley.

Former Supreme Court candidate Chris Anglin threw a curve at Republicans when he entered the race Friday afternoon. Anglin, a former Democrat who changed his registration last year, successfully sued GOP leaders to run as a Republican. They claimed he was a Democratic Trojan Horse candidate, but dropped appeals after the Court of Appeals upheld a Wake County judge’s ruling saying he could be listed on the ballot as a Republican.

“He will not be allowed to access any GOP data, information, or infrastructure. As allowed by Republican Party rules, our committees with jurisdiction over this matter will confirm my decision in due course,” Party Chairman Robin Hayes said in a press release shortly after Anglin filed.

Democrat Dan McCready and Libertarian Jeff Scott, both of Charlotte, are again in the running for the congressional seat. Neither man has a challenger so they automatically advance to the Sept. 10 general election. Former state Senate candidate Allen Smith of Charlotte is the only Green Party candidate, so he also avoids a primary.

McCready trailed Harris by 905 votes in the Nov. 6 election. Scott was a distant third. But the State Board of Elections twice refused to certify the results of that election, and Harris lost a court fight to force the elections board to name him the winner.

In the midst of a four-day evidentiary hearing Harris abruptly ceased testimony Feb. 21, and called for a new election. Harris denied knowledge of any wrongdoing by his campaign workers, but chose not to run in the new election.

The elections board set election dates at a March 4 meeting.

If no candidate receives 30 percent of the May 14 primary vote a runoff would take place Sept. 10. The general election would be pushed back to Nov. 5.

While congressional candidates must be at least 25 years old, and a U.S. citizen for seven years, they do not have to reside in the congressional district they seek to represent.

The elections board determined the order in which Republican candidates will appear on the primary ballot 15 minutes after filing ended.

The letter F was pulled in a drawing of letters. Then a coin flip determined names would be listed in alphabetical order starting with F. Here’s how the GOP candidates will appear on the ballot:

  • Stevie Rivenbank Hull, Fuquay-Varina
  • Matthew Ridenhour, Charlotte
  • Stony Rushing, Wingate
  • Fern Shubert, Marshville
  • Albert Lee Wiley Jr., Salter Path
  • Chris Anglin, Raleigh
  • Dan Bishop, Charlotte
  • Leigh Thomas Brown, Harrisburg
  • Kathie Day, Cornelius
  • Gary Dunn, Matthews

Another special election is being conducted in the 3rd Congressional District due to the death of 13-term Republican U.S. Rep. Walter Jones in February. That race features 26 candidates. The primary is set for April 30, and the general election for July 9. If a runoff election is necessary it will be on July 9, with a general election Sept. 10.

The 9th Congressional District includes Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Union counties, and parts of Mecklenburg, Bladen, and Cumberland counties.