Republicans Dan Bishop, Greg Murphy Win North Carolina Congressional Seats

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

Two Republicans won House seats on Sept. 10 in special elections for their respective congressional districts in North Carolina.

Republican Dan Bishop defeated Democrat Dan McCready in the 9th congressional district special election, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Bishop, a 55-year-old state senator, won with 50.81 percent, compared to McCready, a 36-year-old veteran of the Marines, who captured 48.59 percent.

North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, a suburban-rural area in the southeastern part of the state, has been represented by Republicans in Congress since the 1960s and voted for Trump by about 12 percentage points in 2016.

Bishop campaigned on taxes, the economy, and immigration. He asserted that McCready “admires socialism” and linked his Democratic opponent to the “Squad,” a group of progressive Democrats in the House. McCready, a small business owner, campaigned on healthcare, education, and teacher pay.

Dan McCready, Laura McCready
With his wife Laura by his side Democrat Dan McCready greets supporters after losing a special election for United States Congress in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District to Republican Dan Bishop, on Sept. 10, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP Photo)

President Donald Trump, who campaigned for Bishop, expressed optimism prior to Bishop’s victory in a Twitter post Tuesday night.

“Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race. Big Rally last night. Now it looks like he is going to win. CNN & MSNBC are moving their big studio equipment and to talent out. Stay tuned!” Trump wrote.

The Trump campaign national press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said Trump’s endorsement “has the power to change the trajectory of political races … Dan Bishop won this evening & Trump’s endorsement carried him to victory!”

Bishop thanked Trump and vowed to support the president’s agenda in Washington, adding that his victory should send a message nationwide that voters were rejecting the “radical, liberal policies being pushed by today’s Democratic Party.”

Special Election North Carolina
North Carolina 9th district Republican congressional candidate Dan Bishop celebrates his victory in Monroe, N.C., on Sept. 10, 2019. (Nell Redmond/AP Photo)

“Tonight was the first step toward taking back the House of Representatives in 2020 to keep this country on a path of prosperity and strength,” Bishop told the crowd.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer said that Bishop’s victory showed that their messaging so far in the 2020 cycle was working.

“North Carolinians rejected the Democrats’ socialist agenda and elected a representative who will defend North Carolina values, and will always fight for freedom and against socialism,” Emmer said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

Republicans also won the 3rd congressional district special election in North Carolina, where they had been expected to do so.

Republican Greg Murphy defeated Democrat Allen Thomas by 61.74 percent to 37.47 percent, according to the state board of election results. Murphy will finish the two-year term of the late longtime Republican Rep. Walter Jones, who died on Feb. 10.

greg murphy north carolina
North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy circa 2017. (Public Domain/North Carolina General Assembly)

Murphy, a doctor who specializes in urology, wrote on his platform page: “President Trump is one of the few Presidents in recent memory who is attempting to do exactly what he said he was going to do on the campaign trail. … I will support the Trump agenda because it is the people’s agenda, especially Eastern North Carolina that voted so overwhelming in his favor.”

State party chairman Michael Whatley congratulated Murphy in a statement.

“Congratulations to Dr. Greg Murphy for a strong victory! Dr. Murphy ran a fantastic campaign focused on his support for the families, farmers, and small businesses in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. We look forward to seeing the positive results he will produce for eastern North Carolina in Congress,” Whatley wrote.

Trump said on Twitter that Murphy had won by higher margins than expected. He also tweeted that Murphy’s victory had a lack of coverage from what he calls “Fake News.”

“Greg Murphy won big, 62% to 37%, in North Carolina 03, & the Fake News barely covered the race. The win was far bigger than anticipated – there was just nothing the Fakers could say to diminish or demean the scope of this victory. So we had TWO BIG VICTORIES tonight, Greg & Dan!” Trump wrote.

On the same night, Trump wrote that it was a “Big night for the Republican Party. Congratulations to all!”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.