Primary Results Contain Upsets: Mark Harris Defeats Robert Pittenger
By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
May 11, 2018
CHARLOTTE – In what turned out to be an unprecedented upset, Mark Harris unseated incumbent Congressman Robert Pittenger on Tuesday.
Harris is the former pastor of the First Baptist Church, Charlotte, and the former president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He was also a key leader in the fight to pass North Carolina’s Marriage Protection Amendment in 2012.
Harris won the nod of Republicans in the 9th District Primary and will now face-off with the Democrat, Dan McCready. McCready easily won the nomination of the Democratic Party with more votes than Pittenger, Harris, and a third candidate, Clarence Goins combined.
Harris ran for the U.S. Senate in the May 2014 Primary against Thom Tillis but lost that contest.
He ran against Pittenger in 2016 but lost by a mere 134 votes. This time he bested the Congressman by 814 votes.
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League said Harris has impeccable conservative credentials.
“He believes in a strong military. Immigration and border security are also very important to him. He’s stated that he believes in the Wall. He’s deeply concerned about the preservation of Religious Liberty. He’s been forthright in his call for a repeal of the Johnson Amendment. The sanctity of human life is paramount with Harris. He believes marriage is between one man and one woman and would like the erroneous decision of SCOTUS on marriage to be revisited. He rejects sexual orientation and gender identity laws that threaten business owners with liability for alleged discrimination based on subjective and unverifiable identities, as well as endanger religious freedoms. He believes in the appointment of federal judges that hold to a strict constructionist understanding of our Constitution. He is a gift from God to conservative evangelicals, but they will have to fight hard to get him elected,” said Creech.
Creech is concerned that Democrats, as he said, “are salivating over what they believe is an opportunity to pick up this seat.” Some political operatives are saying what was once considered a seat that was solidly Republican, with Harris’ victory becomes a “toss-up.”
“You better believe they are going to throw everything they have at Harris,” said Creech. “This race has now become national in its focus. The Progressives want to gain this seat among the 24 needed for them to regain control of the U.S. House. All kinds of outside money, dirty Leftists’ tricks and lies can be expected. They’ll want to make an example of Harris to discourage other conservative Christians from running or engaging in the political arena. But I’m convinced Harris can win handily if God’s people will take their civic duties seriously by helping with Harris’ campaign, giving generously, volunteering, praying constantly, and showing up at the polls. It will need to be an all-hands-on-deck scenario.”
Creech also noted that the battle between Pittenger and Harris was a bitter one. “Republicans will have to forgive alleged offenses and come back together for the sake of higher ideals to keep the seat. This is no time for fighting among themselves,” he said.
Not the Only Surprise on Tuesday
Harris’ win was not the only upset on Tuesday. Four incumbent Republicans who serve on the state level were also unseated.
Rep. Justin Burr, who served 5 terms in the N.C. House (District 67), and presided as Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was defeated by Wayne Sasser. Rep. Beverly Boswell, who served 1 term in the House (District 6), was ousted by Bobby Hanig. Sen. David Curtis, a three-term Senate member (District 44), lost his bid for re-election to Ted Alexander. Senator Deanna Ballard, who served 1 term in the Senate, and Sen. Shirley Randleman, who served 3 terms in the Senate and 2 in the House, were, unfortunately, double-bunked in redistricting and competed for District 45’s Senate seat. Ballard won the nomination.
Democratic Primary voters also turned out incumbents. Rep. Duane Hall, who served 3 terms in the House (District 11) was beaten by Allison Dahle. Sen. Joel Ford, who served 3 terms in the Senate (District 38), was defeated by Mujtaba Mohammed. Rep. Rodney Moore, a veteran of 4 terms in the House (District 99), was unseated by Nasif Majeed.
Greene County Alcohol Referendum
Greene County approved a referendum for county-wide mixed beverages by a 55.30% to 44.70% margin. The measure passed by 336 votes.
Dr. Creech, who hails Snow Hill, the county seat of Greene, as his hometown, said he was saddened by the vote.
“I have always said elections are not won by the viewpoint of a majority of residents. They are won by whether you can get more of your people to the polls than the other side can. I am firmly convinced if the churches had taken the referendum seriously and gone to the polls that the results would have been different. It will take a few years before residents discover the promises made by LBD proponents were empty promises,” he opined.