A quick overview of Charlotte’s Congressional elections — you’ll be voting in two weeks

A quick overview of Charlotte’s Congressional elections — you’ll be voting in two weeks
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Yes, there’s another Election Day coming up.

On June 7, North Carolinians will vote in a special primary for U.S. House candidates. Actually, you might vote earlier. Early voting begins this Thursday, May 26.

The timing is weird this year because of all the legal wrangling over new Congressional boundary lines. Judges got involved and the N.C. General Assembly had to draw new lines.

Basically, the Charlotte-area lines went from this (that weird pink one is District 12):


To this:


Most of Charlotte will vote in District 12.

But Matthews, Mint Hill and a big chunk of South Charlotte (including Myers Park, SouthPark, Cotswold and Quail Hollow — but not Ballantyne!) will continue to vote in District 9.

A lot of south Charlotte is right on the border of the districts. You can use this map to figure out where you are.

Reminder: Registered Republicans must vote in the Republican primary, and Democrats in the Democratic primary. If you’re unaffiliated, you get to pick.

Here’s who’s running in District 12.

I’m ordering them in order of fundraising. A note on that: Since the lines became clear so late, there hasn’t been much time for people to do any fundraising at all. Fundraising totals are accurate as of the most recent federal reports, ending March 31.

This is a pretty safe Democratic district. Whoever wins this primary has a big advantage in November. There are also five well-known, well-qualified candidates in the race, so voting will be tight.


Alma Adams. She’s the incumbent, and finishing up her first term. She took over the seat from Mel Watt, who served in that role for the 20 years the district has been around. She spent her career in education, and served on the Greensboro City Council and later the state House. There, she led the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and pushed for an increase to the state minimum wage. Adams was elected when Greensboro was a part of District 12. Now she has moved to Charlotte to try to keep her seat. $505,744 raised.

Tricia Cotham. Cotham is well-known in Charlotte. She was a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administrator and was appointed to the N.C. House in 2007 at age 28. She’s served in that body since then, where she’s been vocally against anti-LGBT moves like Amendment One and for public education spending. $43,750.

Malcolm Graham. He’s a Johnson C. Smith grad and former Charlotte city councilman who’s been very involved in neighborhood redevelopment around Charlotte. He was elected to the state Senate in 2004 and was one of the few Democrats to push for lifting the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. $30,444.

Carla D. Cunningham. She’s from Charlotte and has served two terms in the N.C. House. She has a background in nursing and has been active in healthcare policy. $20,000 (This is all from a loan she gave her campaign).

Gardenia Henley. She’s from Winston-Salem but is still planning on running in the 12th anyway. She’s been a perennial candidate for public office but not finished very high. $9,575.

Rodney W. Moore. Another Charlottean, and another member of the N.C. House. He has ended his campaign but will be on the ballot. $0.

Rick Miller. He has no website or even a campaign committee. $0.


Leon Threatt. He’s a Marine Corps veteran and later a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He’s now a pastor in Charlotte. $7,020.

Ryan Duffie. He’s in the finance industry and moved to Charlotte five years ago. $3,750.

Paul Wright. He’s a former judge who has run for a lot of public offices but not been elected. His website has been either hacked or taken over. $0.

And here’s who is in District 9.

This is a solidly Republican district that also includes a lot of the rural counties to the east of Mecklenburg along the S.C. line. All three are well-known, solid candidates.


Robert Pittenger. The incumbent. He’s a Charlotte businessman finishing his second term after Sue Myrick vacated her seat. He beat out a huge primary field in that race and defeated Jennifer Roberts (now Charlotte’s mayor) in the general election. Pittenger is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services. He’s also been investigated by the FBI over ties between his family’s real estate business and his campaigns, the Observer has reported. $614,345.

Todd Johnson. He’s from Monroe and is on the Union County Board of Commissioners, where he’s focused on cutting taxes and spending. He’s also a member of the State Board of Community Colleges. $47,875.

Mark Harris. Another big Charlotte name. He’s the pastor of First Baptist Church in Uptown and was a vocal leader in the movement to approve Amendment One, which created a state constitutional provision against same-sex marriage in North Carolina until the court system struck it down. He previously ran for U.S. Senate but lost a primary to current Sen. Thom Tillis. $19,020.


No primary. There is one candidate (Christian Cano) who will move on to November.

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