A lot of extra attention was just thrust upon the Charlotte, NC area on Tuesday, as Robert Pittinger became the first sitting Republican Congressman to lose a primary. While Pittinger and his opponent, now-nominee Mark Harris, were seeing who could hug Trump tighter, Democrat Dan McCready was coasting to an impressive win in his first campaign for public office.
Even more impressive was that in the 9th district, total Democratic turnout topped 45,000, almost 10,000 more than voted in the much higher-profile Pittinger/Harris primary. This enthusiasm could easily trickle into downballot races, as the Charlotte Observer points out:
Voters are unsettled, some even infuriated, and they’re intent on being heard more than they have in a generation.
They’ll have their chance in November, when 470 U.S. House and Senate seats and 170 N.C. House and Senate seats are up for election. In Mecklenburg, they started Tuesday by kicking two incumbents – Democrats Joel Ford and Rodney Moore – out of office, as well as incumbent Democratic Sheriff Irwin Carmichael.
Those three will or are likely to be replaced by other Democrats, and Republicans are at risk of losing their veto-proof supermajorities in Raleigh. Three races in Mecklenburg in November will help determine that: Republican Sen. Jeff Tarte in a toss-up district against Natasha Marcus; Republican Rep. John Bradford in a potentially competitive race against Christy Clark; and Republican Rep. Andy Dulin against Democratic attorney Brandon Lofton, if he survives a residency challenge.
LEAP Forward has endorsed Marcus and Clark in their races, and I'm optimistic that they will be part of a new generation of Democrats that will break the GOP's veto-proof majority in the General Assembly and start North Carolina on a road back to a more progressive government.