Let’s Take a Look at the Race for NC’s 9th District

Let’s Take a Look at the Race for NC’s 9th District
Photo courtesy of Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash.

We’re gonna break down the candidates for NC’s 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before we get to the candidates, let’s go through an extremely brief lesson in recent history.

Election results from southeastern North Carolina were the talk of the nation for a little while last year. We could go through the whole election fraud scandal that unfolded, but we’ll shorten the story: irregularities with absentee ballots led to the 2018 election results never being certified. Multiple people were charged in a sweeping investigation into election fraud, and then Republican Dan Bishop narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in a September 2019 special election.

(The whole thing is wild. WSOC in Charlotte has a complete timeline leading up to the special election if you’re interested.)

Now, onto the 2020 election. Bishop now has just a little more than a year in Congress under his belt, and Democrat challenger Cynthia Wallace is looking to keep it that way. Both candidates live in Charlotte. 

NC’s 9th District starts in Robeson County in the southeast and then follows the North Carolina-South Carolina border all the way to southeast Mecklenburg County.

This is the ninth installment in North Carolina News Daily’s profiles of Congressional races leading up to this year’s election. If you’ve missed any of the previous eight, we have you covered: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, 5th District, 6th District, 7th District, and 8th District.

Here we go:

Incumbent: Dan Bishop (R)

Image courtesy of Rep. Dan Bishop.

Years in Congress: 1

Committees: Committee on Homeland Security, Committee on Small Business

Previous political experience: Mecklenburg County Commissioner (2004-08), North Carolina House of Representatives (2015-17), North Carolina State Senate (2017-2019)

Background: Bishop drew national attention in politics long before last year’s special election. As a member of the General Assembly, he was behind North Carolina’s infamous House Bill 2. HB2 (the “bathroom bill”) stripped members of the LGBT community of protections from discrimnation, unless the state enacted them. The law, however, is best known for requiring transgender men and women to use a public bathroom or shower associated with the gender on their birth certificate. 

The law drew criticism from anti-discrimination groups and politicians from North Carolina and the United States. After the NCAA removed its championship events, the NC General Assembly repealed it in 2017.

Platform: Bishop says he supports law enforcement officers, believes photo ID should be required to vote and says maintaining a strong national defense is “a moral obligation that must be met by Congress.” His website also touts that Bishop’s family has lived in NC’s 9th District for “generations.”

Challenger: Cynthia Wallace (D)

Image courtesy of Cynthia Wallace.

Background: Wallace has worked in the financial services industry for 25 years with a focus in risk management and regulations. She grew up near Savannah, Ga., and holds degrees from Spelman College and the University of North Florida. 

Her late father was the first Black county commissioner in the history of Effingham County, Wallace’s campaign website says. Wallace was the state Democrat Party’s chairwoman in the 9th District. She was in charge of the party for Dan McCready’s campaigns in 2018 and 2019. She also spent three years working with the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party.

Key endorsements: Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Equality NC, Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Congresswoman Alma Adams

Platform: Wallace wants to make healthcare affordable, reduce the gap in gender pay and make improvements to critical infrastructure. 

Here’s what all of that means…

This year’s election is likely to be simpler than the last one — and the one before that. Both the district and the southeastern part of the state are Republican strongholds. Seven Republicans have represented the district dating back to 1963; so don’t expect Wallace to challenge Bishop like McCready did in 2018. 

The Cook Political Report says this district is likely Republican, and two more services used by BallotPedia rate it as solid Republican. 

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