State Politics

National Democrats target NC congressman for 2018

Congressman George Holding talks with Duane Cutlip upon his arrival on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the Hibernian in Raleigh, N.C.
Congressman George Holding talks with Duane Cutlip upon his arrival on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the Hibernian in Raleigh, N.C. rwillett@newsobserver.com

U.S. Rep. George Holding of Raleigh was added Monday to a list of 75 Republicans that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aims to unseat in 2018.

Holding, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, represents North Carolina’s 2nd District and is one of four incumbents from the state on the DCCC’s list. Reps. Ted Budd, Richard Hudson and Robert Pittenger were on an initial DCCC target list released in January.

A memo from the DCCC announcing the updated list did not include specifics about why Holding was added, but it referenced President Donald Trump’s latest controversies and House Republicans’ vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a new health-care law.

“House Republicans’ midterm prospects grow dimmer with each passing day thanks to the endless supply of chaos, scandal and broken promises to voters from Republican-controlled Washington,” DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly wrote in the memo. “Today, the DCCC is expanding our offensive battlefield, bringing our targeted districts for recruitment and potential investment to 79 Republican-held seats.”

In addition to the 75 GOP incumbents listed, the DCCC also lists four Republican-held seats where the incumbent isn’t seeking another term.

Last year, Holding won re-election with 57 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger John McNeil, who was outspent by the incumbent in his first bid for elected office.

But that margin of victory was slightly smaller than for other GOP incumbent members of Congress in North Carolina, thanks to districts that are drawn to give Republicans an advantage in 10 of 13 districts. Only Budd, who was running for an open seat, won a smaller percentage of votes cast last year.

No candidates have so far announced plans to challenge Holding, but the DCCC memo says that “Democratic candidates with impressive and diverse profiles are stepping up to run for Congress across the country.”

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