The fight to face off against two-term incumbent Rep. Larry Kissell (D) in NC-08 provided the most fireworks and they certainly were not the ones you find in the post July 4 sale bin. According to media reports, the two GOP candidates spent over $1 million with outside groups kicking in another $1.7 million. To date, this is the most expensive House race in 2012. On the winning side with 63.7% of the vote was Richard Hudson (R), a former congressional aide and the House leadership who strongly supported his efforts. On the short end with just 36.3% was Tea Party candidate Scott Keadle (R) and groups like the Club for Growth. Hudson will now face Kissell in the General Election in a newly drawn district that favors the GOP picking up a seat. Unsuccessful 2008 gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory (R) received 54.6% while John McCain (R) received 57.5% for president in a state Barack Obama (D) won.
One last note of interest in NC-08 that I picked up while in Charlotte earlier this week was that the 8th District Black Leadership Caucus introduced a write-in candidate (Dobbins Heights Mayor and Richmond County Democratic Party Chair Antonio Blue) on the same day Kissell voted to repeal Obama’s health care plan.
In NC-09, Robert Pittenger (R) defeated Jim Pendergraph (R) by a narrow 52.9% to 47.1% margin and will face Jennifer Roberts (D) in the General Election. Pittenger is a three-term state senator in the real estate sector and will be strongly favored in this GOP district where many Republican candidates hit 60%. In the final Runoff Election, real estate investor Mark Meadows (R) easily defeated Vance Patterson (R) in NC-11 and will be a favorite to win the General Election over Hayden Rogers (D), Rep. Heath Shuler’s chief of staff.