Republican Dan Bishop has won North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District special election, narrowly beating Democratic candidate Dan McCready.
Live poll results from The New York Times show Bishop ahead with 50.8% percent of the vote with 99% reporting.
President Donald Trump campaigned for Bishop on Monday night in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on the eve of the hotly contested special election.
Bishop, who helped craft the state’s controversial ” Bathroom Bill,” tried to pin himself as the candidate most supportive of Trump on issues like gun ownership and illegal immigration. Former Marine and businessman McCready tried to peg himself as a more moderate Democrat, campaigning on a platform of protecting the Affordable Care Act, cutting taxes, and scaling back military intervention overseas.
Both candidates were polling closely to one another ahead of the closely-watched contest.
The 9th Congressional District is traditionally conservative and spans east from Charlotte along the South Carolina border. Republicans have represented this district since 1963.
Elections were called in the district after credible allegations of ballot fraud were lobbed against former Republican candidate and evangelical pastor Mark Harris’ campaign. In last year’s election, McCready narrowly fell behind Harris by just 905 votes.
Following the election, the State Board of Elections ordered an investigation into one of Harris’ campaign aide Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was indicted on criminal charges of ballot fraud and obstruction of justice in an elaborate absentee-ballot scheme. The board never certified Harris as the winner.
Trump easily won the traditionally conservative 9th district during the 2016 elections by a margin of 12 points. However, Bishop’s win over McCready was by a far smaller margin.
Republicans, including President Trump, have been pushing an inflammatory campaign against progressive Democrats in an attempt to portray the party as radical and anti-American in the leadup to the elections.
However, some suburban and independent voters in the state have been increasingly put off by Trump’s divisive rhetoric, which could see residents shift away from candidates with strong presidential support.
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