Ultimately, a dozen Republicans filed before the deadline, but the field is notably devoid of local politicians who would typically flock to an open-seat race. This retirement is the latest in a whirlwind for North Carolina's congressional delegation. Other incumbents who appear to have timed retirements to benefit a preferred successor have seen mixed success. Heath Shuler D-N. Redistricting cracked the liberal enclave of Asheville and transformed the seat into safe GOP territory.
Esteban Torres D-Calif. The newly redrawn map for the reunites Asheville, but the seat still heavily favors Republicans. Still, Meadows' decision has ripple effects beyond western North Carolina. The state held two special elections in — one of which was precipitated by an apparent ballot-fraud scheme — before undergoing court-prompted redistricting in November.
Meadows has also not ruled out reing before the end of his term, which could prompt a special election next year. Reached last week in a brief phone call, Bennett declined to be interviewed and asked if questions could be sent via .
The younger Lipinski won that race and has represented the district since, though he faces another stiff primary challenge next year. Inthen-Rep.
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Republicans in Western North Carolina are grumbling about his last-minute announcement, which boxed out a of elected officials. The congressman's wife appears to be supporting Bennett's bid, though she has offered no formal endorsement. The only North Carolina lawmaker running is state Sen. Jim Davis, who had not filed for reelection to the General Assembly because he was planning to retire.
He won an open-seat race for the district, which spans the western border of the state, in when then-Rep. Mark Meadows' shock retirement — revealed just 30 hours before the filing deadline in North Carolina — has roiled some Republicans in the state who suspect he timed his announcement to benefit a friend of his wife.
After denying retirement rumors in the summer ofBill Lipinski announced a reation in mid-August and then persuaded the state Democratic Party to nominate his son to replace him on the ballot.
And the two were together at an early October GOP fundraiser in Hendersonville, where Debbie Meadows remained near Bennett for much of the event, introducing her to donors and other attendees, according to a person at the fundraiser. Mark Meadows. Alex Isenstadt contributed to this report.
Through a spokesperson, Meadows' congressional office declined to comment for this story. Privately, some state legislators are grumbling that, had they known Meadows was planning to retire, they might have been able to save Rep. Mark Walker R-N. They have all been eyeing that seat and figured they had two more years. Another notable example: former Rep.
Bill Lipinski D-Ill. Wary Republicans in the state quickly speculated that she had advance notice of Meadows' retirement.
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And the rest of the Republicans in the Assembly are furious because they threw Mark Walker off the boat, and they didn't have to. He said he was asked to break the news to the district staff on Dec. He said he was not deterred by the short timeline.
Later that day came a campaign launch by Lynda Bennett, a local GOP activist and real estate agent who is friendly with Debbie Meadows, the congressman's wife, according to sources who know both women. Online records revealed her campaign website domain had been registered on Oct. The campaign's Facebook was created on Dec. And shortly after midnight on Dec. After launching her run, Bennett was quickly endorsed by the Asheville Tea PAC, a local organization which said in a release that its board convened for a a.
In announcing his retirement, Meadows said he never planned to stay in Congress long-term.