Johnson defeats D'Annunzio in GOP 8th District runoff



Harold Johnson raises his arms in celebration of the results appearing on a TV screen at Martino's Restaurant in Concord, NC Tuesday evening. Johnson defeated Tim D'Annunzio in the U.S. House of Representatives District 8 race.


In the 8th Congressional District runoff, Harold Johnson defeated Raeford businessman Tim D'Annunzio in the GOP runoff for the 8th District. Johnson will face Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell in November.

The AP called the race around 9 p.m. With most 8th District counties reporting, Johnson, a former Charlotte sportscaster, had 61 percent of the vote over D'Annunzio.

In his victory speech, Johnson thanked supporters then quickly took aim at Kissell.

"Is there a plan anywhere in this administration or from Larry Kissell to say ... we're going to put this district back to work?" he asked. "We have people in this district who are eager to work, who want work, and what is the plan?"

Two polls last week showed Johnson with a double-digit lead heading into Election Day.

D’Annunzio burst onto the stage with his "machine-gun socials" and deep pockets. He has spent more than $1.3 million, while Johnson has given his campaign nearly $300,000.

D’Annunzio has criticized Johnson as uninformed on issues, a charge Johnson denies.

"I didn’t fall off a turnip truck," he says.

Alluding to 15-year-old court records, Johnson has called D’Annunzio "a troubled man" in TV ads that describe "a history of drug use and time in prison."

D’Annunzio says the charges are exaggerated. He acknowledges youthful problems but says he has changed.

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