By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
July is quiet on the political front until the end of the month, except in North Carolina where on July 17, runoffs were held in three congressional districts to determine the Republican nominees who will advance to the November 6 general election.
In North Carolina, if no candidate receives 40% of the vote in the May 8 primary, the two leading candidates advance to a runoff. With turnout at a low 3.58%, anything was possible.
Richard Hudson, a pro-life former House staffer, defeated pro-life former Iredell County Commissioner Scott Keadle in North Carolina’s eighth congressional district, 63.65% to 36.35%. Hudson will challenge pro-abortion Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell in November. This race is considered “lean Republican” by Cook Political Report.
In North Carolina’s ninth district, pro-life former state Senator Robert Pittenger overcame a hotly contested challenge from pro-life Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Pendergraph, prevailing 52.91% to 47.09%. Pittenger will face pro-abortion Mecklenberg County Commissioner Jennifer Watson Roberts (D) in the general election.
Pro-life Rep. Sue Myrick is retiring after serving nine terms in Congress. The ninth is considered “safe Republican,” according to Cook Political Report.
Pro-life businessman Mark Meadows defeated pro-life businessman Vance Patterson, 76.32% to 23.68%, in North Carolina’s eleventh congressional district Republican primary. Meadows will face Rep. Heath Shuler’s former chief of staff, Hayden Rogers, in November. Rogers has not returned National Right to Life’s candidate questionnaire.
Rep. Heath Shuler is retiring after three terms and the eleventh is considered “likely Republican” by Cook Political Report. Shuler has a mixed voting record on issues of concern to National Right to Life.
Looking at the top five House districts most likely to switch parties this election, North Carolina has three (NC 8, NC 11, NC 13), according to Real Clear Politics.
July will remain quiet on the political front for congressional races until the 31st when Georgia will hold its congressional primaries and Texas will hold its runoff races.
In Texas, when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the May 29 primary, a runoff is held between the two top candidates. The Republican nominees are battling in a highly publicized runoff between Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, both of whom are pro-life.
Less known is the runoff between Democratic Senate candidates pro-abortion former state Rep. Paul Lindsey Sadler and retired educator Grady Yarbrough, whose position is unknown. The Senate race is considered “safe Republican” by Cook Political Report.
Eleven congressional races will hold runoffs as well.
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