North Carolina's 5 congressional seats draw many candidates.

Raleigh— After five North Carolina U.S. House members declined to run, many Republican contenders are seeking additional time on Capitol Hill in next week's primary.Last October, Republican-controlled General Assembly redistricting forced Democratic Reps. Jeff Jackson, Kathy Manning, and Wiley Nickel to drop down.

According to electoral statistics, states judges' 2022 plan offered Democrats and Republicans seven congressional seats each, but the newest map predicts the GOP would win at least 10 of 14. These seat adjustments may help national Republicans hold a fragile House majority in 2025.

Republican Reps. Patrick McHenry and Dan Bishop declined reelection, leaving GOP-heavy districts unrepresented.One redistricting expert expects North Carolina's congressional boundaries to continue until 2030 as courts reject legal arguments that maps favor party candidates disproportionately.

Catawba College political science professor Michael Bitzer said voting behavior and district shape may let the winner serve “as long as they want.” “Whoever wins this primary could have a long career.”Five candidates compete in four Republican primaries without incumbents. If a leading candidate fails to reach 30%, May 14 runoffs between the top two vote-getters may result.

The candidates are former Rep. Mark Walker, Rev. Mark Harris, and House Speaker Tim Moore. Harris led a 2018 congressional campaign, but absentee ballot fraud required a rerun.Nickel's 13th District seat, which spans Raleigh from Lee County to Virginia, is contested by 14 Republicans.

The 2022 primary featured Smithfield attorney Kelly Daughtry and Johnston County businessman DeVan Barbour. Television advertising has promoted Wake Forest businessman Fred Von Canon and Raleigh former federal prosecutor Brad Knott. After winning the state lottery, Apex's Dr. Josh McConkey became famous. The nominee meets Frank Pierce in November.

Republican former President Donald Trump endorsed Addison McDowell in the 6th District and Moore in the 14th District for two of five seats.Former Blue Cross and Blue Shield lobbyist McDowell secured Trump's and congressional leaders' backing in his first attempt for office. Manning represents the redesigned 6th District from Greensboro to Concord.

McDowell faces Bo Hines, who won the 13th District GOP primary in 2022 with Trump's support, and Walker, who served in Congress for six years in Greensboro until 2020. Hines, who almost lost to Nickel in 2022, received Club for Growth PAC support again. Manning defeated Green Beret Christian Castelli in the 2022 general election. The GOP 6th District nomination has six candidates and no Democratic challenger in the fall.

Moore seeks the 14th District, which covers Charlotte and the foothills. After serving in the General Assembly since 2003, the Kings Mountain lawyer became speaker in 2015. Pam Genant and Brendan Maginnis are running for the Democratic nomination after Jackson left for attorney general.Bishop joined Harris and Charlotte state Rep. John Bradford in the GOP field of six for attorney general in the south-central 8th District.

Baptist minister Harris won a nearby congressional district in 2018. However, the State Board of Elections ordered a new election after detecting improper “ballot harvesting” by a Harris campaign worker. Many admitted guilt. Harris wasn't charged. He publicly asked for a new election without him. Harris claims a “manufactured scandal.”

Five GOP contenders for McHenry's 10th District, which includes Iredell County, Winston-Salem, and Lincolnton, include 2022 congressional candidate Pat Harrigan and state Rep. Grey Mills. The winner will face Democrat Ralph Scott Jr. and a Libertarian in October.

Voting patterns and past results suggest the redesigned 1st District, which comprises 22 eastern counties, will be the only toss-up in November. Reelection is sought by first-term Democratic Rep. Don Davis, who defeated Republican Sandy Smith in 2022. Former Army colonel Laurie Buckhout challenges Smith for GOP candidacy. Trump supported Smith in 2022.

Other incumbents in the March 5 primaries include first-term Republican Chuck Edwards in the far-western 11th District, GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx in the northwestern 5th District, Richard Hudson in the Piedmont and Sandhills 9th District, and Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross in the Raleigh-dominated 2nd

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