Bishop (R) wins NC-9 special election

The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Wednesday, Sept. 11, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Bishop (R), Murphy (R) win congressional special elections in North Carolina
  2. 1,617 candidates have filed with the FEC to run for Congress in 2020
  3. Judge may call for special election after state Senate primary was decided by one vote

Bishop (R), Murphy (R) win congressional special elections in North Carolina

North Carolina’s 9th

State Sen. Dan Bishop (R) defeated Dan McCready (D) and two other candidates in Tuesday’s special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. With 99% of precincts counted, Bishop had 50.8% of the vote to McCready’s 48.6%.

On Feb. 21, the state board of elections voted unanimously to call a new election in the district following investigations of absentee ballot fraud in the 2018 race.

The special election featured more than $10.7 million in satellite spending as of Sept. 6, which is the second-highest amount ever spent in a U.S. House special election. Satellite spending was $27 million in the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2017. 

During the campaign, Bishop talked about his record in the state legislature including his work in 2018 to help pass a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, lower income taxes, and oppose sanctuary cities. McCready—who was also the nominee in the 2018 race—campaigned on his plan to lower prescription drug prices and said he’d seek bipartisan legislation on health care, education, and taxes in the House. 

Donald Trump (R) won the district over Hillary Clinton (D) in the 2016 presidential election, 54.4% to 42.8%.

North Carolina’s 3rd

State Rep. Greg Murphy (R) defeated Allen Thomas (D) and two other candidates in the special election in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. With 82% of precincts counted, Murphy received 61% of the vote to Thomas’ 39%. The special election was called after the previous incumbent—Rep. Walter Jones (R)—died on Feb. 10.

Murphy linked himself to President Trump and highlighted his work as a physician and state legislator. Thomas emphasized economic development, small-town revitalization, and improving access to health care.

According to campaign finance reports from January 1 through August 21, Murphy raised $902,000 and spent $803,000. Thomas raised $565,000 and spent $476,000. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won the district, 60.5% to 36.9%.


1,617 candidates have filed with the FEC to run for Congress in 2020

232 candidates have filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for one of 35 U.S. Senate seats in 2020. Two hundred six of those candidates—108 Democrats and 98 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. 

In 2018, 527 candidates filed to run for 35 Senate seats, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans. 

On the House side, 1,385 candidates have filed so far to run in 2020.  This includes 686 Democrats and 615 Republicans. 

In 2018, 3,244 House candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans. All 435 House seats are up for election every two years.

A person who files with the FEC to run for Congress must complete a two-page “Statement of Candidacy” form either on paper or online. Candidates must provide their address, the office they are seeking, and their signature. They must also name any committees working to elect them.  The figures are as of the most recent FEC files on September 9. 

FEC rules state that an individual is considered a candidate and must file a statement of candidacy after raising $5,000 or more for their campaign. However, if the person is only exploring a candidacy—either through polling or touring the district—no formal declaration is required. Once someone conducts certain activities, such as making statements that refer to themselves as a candidate or taking action to qualify for the ballot, he or she must register as a candidate.

Judge may call for special election after state Senate primary was decided by one vote

A special primary election may take place in some precincts in a Mississippi state Senate district after the trailing candidate contested the results of August’s Republican primary—which was decided by a single vote.  

A special judge of the state Supreme Court will decide whether some or all of the district’s voters will cast new ballots after a hearing which is expected later this week.

When all ballots were counted after the Aug. 6 primary, Dixie Newman led Scott DeLano by one vote, 3,184 to 3,183. Those results were certified after a recount was completed Aug. 24.

DeLano contested the certified results Sept. 3 with the Republican Executive Committee of Harrison County claiming that some voters in five precincts were not given the correct ballots. The committee said it did not have the power to call a new election, but it did vote to allow DeLano to petition a judge for a special election in those precincts. If the judge orders a new election, any district voter in those five precincts would be eligible to vote.

Incumbent Tommy Gollott (R) resigned from the legislature before the end of his term on July 1. Since no Democratic candidate filed to run for the seat, the winner of the Republican primary will become the district’s new state Senator. 

All 52 seats in the Mississippi Senate are up for election in 2019. Republicans control the chamber 31-18, with three vacancies. Mississippi is also holding elections for all state executive officers—including the governor—and all 122 seats in the state House on Nov. 5. 

Mississippi has been a Republican trifecta since the beginning of the 2012 legislative session.