The Tar Heel State features two Special Congressional elections this year, after election fraud compelled the State Board of Elections to call for one in the 9th District, and the death of incumbent Congressman Walter Jones in the 3rd. Absentee voting is underway in both, while in-person early voting has begun in the 3rd.
In the first few days of walk-in voting, over 4300 votes have been cast, 1753 by Republicans and 1315 by Democrats. Unaffiliated voters have opted to participate in the Republican primary over the Democratic one by about 2-1 so far. Both parties have competitive primaries, with 17 Republicans and 6 Democrats battling to advance past the April 30th primary. Three candidates have launched TV ads so far: Republicans Michele Dix and Joan Perry, and Democrat Richard Bew.
With in-person voting not yet started, no data to really share on that front, but fundraising and spending figures are raising eyebrows. Democratic candidate Dan McCready, who ran for the seat last year and faces no primary in May, has raised $1.6 million so far. No Republican candidate has raised near that amount, but the field is gigantic, with ten hopefuls in the running. One of the strongest fundraisers on the Republican side has been Stony Rushing. Rushing, who received the endorsement of 2018 candidate Mark Meadows, has raised a total of $36,000 in the first quarter.
Even if money may be initially sparse for such a large field, third party groups are getting involved. The Charlotte Observer recently reported that the National Association of Realtors plans to spend at least $400,000, apparently in favor of primary candidate Leigh Brown. With so many candidates fighting over a finite number of Republicans, any spending burst could tip the scales. The primary is scheduled for May 14th.