‘Bathroom Bill’ Republican Snags Win In North Carolina Special Election Primary

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

State Sen. Dan Bishop of North Carolina had a large lead to win over nine competing Republicans running in the primary in the special election in the state’s 9th Congressional district Tuesday.

The race was officially called with Bishop earning 47.8% of the vote at press time. Local activist Stony Rushing came in second with a comparatively poor 19.3%.

Bishop will go head-to-head against Democrat Dan McCready next time the district votes on Sept. 10. McCready already ran for the post during the 2018 election cycle, but narrowly lost to Republican Mark Harris, the results of that election were not certified due to reports of absentee ballot fraud. (RELATED: DOJ Drops Lawsuit Against North Carolina’s ‘Bathroom Bill’)

DURHAM, NC - MAY 11: A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina. Debate over transgender bathroom access spreads nationwide as the U.S. Department of Justice countersues North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2 (HB2) that dictate what bathrooms transgender individuals can use. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

DURHAM, NC – MAY 11: A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

The state board of elections voted in February to call a new election, and shortly after that announcement, Harris said he would not run again in the new election.

Only 28,092 votes were cast in a district that houses 778,477 residents. The Cook Political Report rated the district as “R+8,” which means that any Republican would automatically get an eight-point bump over a Democrat in the district.

Bishop enjoyed the endorsement of the conservative interest group Club For Growth. The group spent $49,000 on a negative attack ad aimed at fellow Republican Leigh Thomas Brown.

Bishop sponsored House Bill 2 in 2016, a measure that called for transgendered persons to use the bathroom that corresponded with the gender that was defined at birth, not another self-selected one. Multiple action groups, businesses, and politicians nationwide called on a boycott of the state, and the measure was eventually overturned.

Bishop has a hard fight against him. The race in 2018 only had a difference of 905 votes, indicating a somewhat tight race. He’s also outraised to date. He’s only earned $505,777 as of the last reporting period, compared to McCready’s $2,010,990 as of April 24.

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