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Ousted: Mark Harris Defeats Rep. Robert Pittenger

North Carolina’s 9th congressional district is one to watch in November. Democrats believe they can turn the seat blue. For now, Republicans in the district have voted for change, defeating Rep. Robert Pittenger in the primary.

Though analysts say the district leans Republican, it’s expected to be one of the two most competitive in North Carolina this fall with the 13th District, where Democrat Kathy Manning won a primary to face GOP incumbent Ted Budd. Both races could help determine which party controls Congress.

Here’s Carolina Journal’s reporting on the Harris/Pittenger race, with a key issue highlighted.

Pittenger defended the $1.3 trillion spending plan he voted for.

“I think people need to be very clear-eyed in what they’re doing before they start attacking an important, fiscally accountable bill,” Pittenger said. Two-thirds of budget spending is mandatory. About a half of the other third goes towards the military, and only about 17 percent is discretionary spending, he said.

The nation faces unprecedented threats from Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, and multiple terrorist organizations, Pittenger said. The budget strengthened the military, which was weakened during the Obama years.

“I think it was a betrayal of the American people. I certainly think it was a betrayal to every true, conservative Republican,” Harris said of the omnibus. “I don’t support Congress acting recklessly, and that is exactly what we saw.”

He said the House should have passed a separate defense spending initiative instead of using the military as cover for a bloated budget that requires more borrowing to pay for it.

Harris faces Demcrat Dan McCready in November.

Donna Martinez / VP of Marketing and Communications

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...

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