U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, the longest-serving sitting congressman from North Carolina, defeated two opponents in the 3rd Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday, carving a way toward his 11th term in office.
Jones of Farmville had been expected to face a threat from second-time challenger Taylor Griffin of New Bern, who has been involved in national GOP politics as a spokesman and consultant and had the financial backing of Paul Singer, a New York-based hedge fund manager. Jones held off Griffin by just 6 percentage points in the 2014 primary.
But Tuesday night found Griffin in third place. Phil Law, who took leave from a Hewlett-Packard IT job to run for the office, came in second, well behind Jones.
Jones credited what he said was the best political team he has had in 20 years in office, configured to reach voters in the anticipated low-turnout second primary of the year, and to address people’s concerns.
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“There was an unknown with the citizens in the 3rd and throughout the state and nation: People are very frustrated and you never know if they’re going to take it out on the incumbent or what,” Jones said.
He will face Democrat Ernest Reeves, a retired Army captain from Greenville, in the general election.
In the 4th District, Republican political newcomer Sue Googe defeated Teiji Kimball to take on longtime Democratic Rep. David Price. Googe won by a comfortable margin.
Googe, 44, was born in China and moved to North Carolina for college. A software engineer, she founded a real estate investment firm in Cary.
The 4th District includes all of Orange County, parts of Wake County – much of Raleigh, Cary and Morrisville – and a small sliver of southern Durham County.
Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger narrowly led the Rev. Mark Harris in a race that could end up in a recount, with only one-half of a percentage point separating the two and all precincts counted.
Harris and former Union County commissioner Todd Johnson challenged Pittenger in the recently redrawn district, which now stretches from southern Mecklenburg County east to Bladen County.
The GOP winner will face Democratic newcomer Christian Cano in November.
Rep. Mark Walker easily held off challenger Chris Hardin in the 6th District’s Republican primary.
Walker, a Baptist minister from Greensboro, won election in 2014 as a Tea Party candidate.
The 6th District covers much of central North Carolina between Sanford and the Virginia border. The Republican nominee will face Democratic challenger Pete Glidewell, an Elon businessman.
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a six-term incumbent, soundly defeated Pattie Curran in her run at staying in the office she has held since 2004.
The Banner Elk Republican faced Pattie Curran of Kernersville.
Foxx will face a second-time Democratic challenger in November: Josh Brannon, a software developer from Vilas who ran against her in 2014.
No district in the country had more candidates than the 22 in the redrawn 13th, which had no incumbent to beat. The new district is Iredell, Davie and Davidson counties and parts of Guilford and Rowan counties.
The 17 Republican candidates included four state legislators.
But the conservative political advocacy group Club for Growth Action spent nearly $500,000 for Davie County gun store owner Ted Budd, who has never run for office and touted his outsider status. It was enough to push Budd well ahead of his many opponents.
Democratic Rep. Alma Adams won the dramatically reshaped 12th District, which is entirely in Mecklenburg County.
Adams defeated Malcom Graham, a former state senator, state Reps. Tricia Cotham and Carla Cunningham and Gardenia Henley of Winston-Salem.
In the Republican race, Leon Threatt defeated fellow Mecklenburg resident Ryan Duffie and Paul Wright of Wayne County.
Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson of Concord defeated Hoke County businessman Tim D’Annunzio, who made his third House run. Hudson faces Democrat Thomas Mills of Carrboro.
The new 8th District sweeps east from Cabarrus County to Fayetteville.
U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, who won his House seat a dozen years ago at 29, appeared headed for a seventh term in November by winning the GOP nomination. The conservative-leaning 10th District runs from Asheville to Hickory.
Backed by a $1.5 million campaign account at the close of the first quarter, he faced three challengers with little campaign cash who said he isn’t conservative enough.
McHenry will face the only Democrat to file for the seat, Andy Millard, a former school teacher who owns a financial planning agency in Tryon.
In the 11th District, which encompasses most of western North Carolina except for Asheville, Rick Bryson narrowly led Tom Hill for the Democratic nomination with all precincts counted. If the numbers stand, Bryson would face Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, a developer from Cashiers seeking his third term in office.
Charlotte Observer staff writers Bruce Henderson, Tim Funk and Jim Morrill contributed
U.S. House District 3 Republicans
Walter B. Jones: 64.83%
Phil Law: 20.33%
Taylor Griffin: 14.84%
236 of 236 precincts reporting
District 3 Democrats
Ernest T. Reeves: 54.60%
David Allan Hurst: 45.40%
236 of 236 precincts reporting
District 4 Republicans
Sue Googe: 71.37%
Teiji Kimball: 28.63%
182 of 182 precincts reporting
District 6 Republicans
B. Mark Walker: 77.96%
Chris Hardin: 22.04%
172 of 172 precincts reporting
District 8 Republicans
Richard Hudson: 64.58%
Tim D’Annunzio: 35.42%
206 of 206 precincts reporting