Thursday, 30 May 2024
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AmericasPolitics

The congressional runoff demonstrates Trump’s sway over GOP politics

  • Kelly Daughtry and Brad Knott will face off for the right to represent voters.
  • Knott has reminded his followers that they must cast ballots to win.
  • Wiley Nickel decided not to seek reelection after the district was reshaped to the right by the Republican-controlled legislature.

One way to show how much former President Donald Trump has influenced GOP politics is through a Republican primary runoff for North Carolina’s redrawn 13th Congressional District.

Kelly Daughtry and Brad Knott, the top two finishers in the March 5 primary, will face off for the right to represent voters. On Tuesday, both names will be on the ballot in the runoff election.

GOP politics

Knott has reminded his followers that they must cast ballots to win; he needs to receive the most votes to win. In November, local Republicans would select a substitute to challenge Democrat Frank Pierce if Daughtry prevails but declines the nomination.

With his endorsement of Daughtry’s rival in the 2022 13th District primary, Trump has a track record of meddling in North Carolina politics. Following Trump’s endorsement of then-U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in the 2022 GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, Budd comfortably defeated then-Governor Pat McCrory and won the general election.

Addison McDowell, a first-time candidate who ultimately won the 6th Congressional District election, was another candidate that Trump supported in the most recent March primary. The 13th District seat, which covers all or portions of eight counties in or near the capital of Raleigh, saw a total of 14 individuals initially run for it this year.

Current Democratic U.S. Representative Wiley Nickel decided not to seek for reelection after the district was reshaped to the right by the Republican-controlled legislature. Redistricting will allow the GOP to add three seats from North Carolina to the U.S. House in the fall election, including this one.

After Trump endorsed Raleigh-based Knott, a former assistant U.S. attorney, on April 5, Daughtry withdrew her candidacy earlier this month. Knott was hailed by Trump as a “Strong Patriot” who will uphold gun rights, bolster law enforcement, and fortify the border between the United States and Mexico. Additionally, Libertarian Party candidates are running for lieutenant governor and auditor.

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