Mecklenburg County’s two incumbent members of Congress – Democrat Alma Adams and Republican Robert Pittenger – won re-election Tuesday night, according to unofficial results.
In other Charlotte-area districts, incumbent Republican Patrick McHenry won re-election in the 10th District, while Republican Richard Hudson will be returning to Washington in the 8th District. In the redrawn 13th District north of Charlotte, political newcomer Ted Budd, a Davie County gun shop owner, was elected to his first term.
The candidates were running in districts that were redrawn under court orders earlier this year.
In complete but unofficial results, Pittenger defeated Democrat Christian Cano with 58.25 percent of the vote.
The congressman, running for his third term, faced a stiff test in the Republican primary in June when he narrowly won by 133 votes over Charlotte pastor Mark Harris. Pittenger and Cano campaigned across an eight-county district made up of southeastern Mecklenburg, most of Cumberland and Bladen and all of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson counties.
Pittenger, 68, has touted his membership on the House Financial Services Committee and his leadership of a congressional task force formed to investigate terrorism financing. In August 2015, the congressman disclosed he was the subject of an FBI investigation related to his former land company, but he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
In an interview, the congressman said he was pleased with Tuesday’s results.
“I won big,” he said, “in a new district with 60 percent new voters and six new counties.”
He said he returns for a third term knowing that voters are deeply concerned that the nation’s economic growth is “so anemic ... it hurts everyone, whether it’s in Mecklenburg County or all the way to Bladen County.”
Pittenger also said voters are worried about the security of the country given threats from terrorist groups like ISIS and that Russia, China, North Korea and Iran “are more provocative than they’ve ever been.”
In nearly complete but unofficial results, Adams defeated Republican Leon Threatt with 67.07 percent of the vote.
Adams, 72, one of two African-Americans among the state’s 13 House members, was running for her second full term representing the 12th.
Adams was deeply affected by last spring’s remap of her district, which had been assailed as the most gerrymandered in America. It formed a thin, winding ribbon along I-85 from Charlotte to her hometown of Greensboro, with a heavy population of African-American voters. The new map puts the bulk of her district within Charlotte’s city limits, also comprising more minorities than whites.
“It’s been a long race. I’m glad that’s over,” Adams said Tuesday night, but she expressed anxiety about the outcome of Hillary Clinton’s close race for the presidency.
“I’m going to do my very best to work with whomever the leadership is, as I do now,” she said. “I’m hoping I’ll be working with Madam President.”
In complete but unofficial results, Hudson, the Republican incumbent, defeated Democratic challenger Thomas Mills with 58.83 percent of the vote in a district that stretches east to Fayetteville.
Mills, who since 2013 has authored the blog PoliticsNC and spent years working with autistic adults, called for tougher gun control laws after a lone assailant killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.
Hudson, running for his third term, said laws on the books are sufficient to protect Americans from terrorists, but that better reporting would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
In complete but unofficial results, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry defeated Democratic challenger Andy Millard with 63.15 percent of the vote.
Millard, a financial planner, loaned his campaign $122,500 in an attempt to compete with the well-heeled veteran congressman in the district west of Charlotte.
McHenry is completing his sixth term and has served since 2014 as the chief deputy majority whip, the highest Republican Party leadership position held by a North Carolinian in more than 70 years. He also is vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
McHenry called it “a great honor” to represent his district for a seventh term.
“Our nation has a number of major challenges, and we’ve got to tackle those things,” he said. “We’ve got to get the economy moving again. I’m going to refocus my efforts on helping small businesses and families and level the playing field for them.”
In complete but unofficial results, Budd, a Republican, defeated former Guilford County commissioner Bruce Davis, a Democrat, with 56.12 percent of the vote.
In June, Budd prevailed in a field of 17 Republican candidates that included four state legislators and two others who had run in other districts before boundaries were withdrawn. The new district, which had no incumbent to beat, covers Iredell, Davie and Davidson counties and parts of Guilford and Rowan counties.
Richard Hudson, R (i) 58.83%
Thomas Mills, D 41.17%
Christian Cano, D 41.75%
Robert Pittenger, R (i) 58.25%
Patrick McHenry, R (i) 63.15%
Andy Millard, D 36.85%
Alma Adams, D (i) 67.07%
Leon Threatt, R 32.93%
Ted Budd, R 56.12%
Bruce Davis, D 43.88%
Unofficial results as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday with all precincts reporting except in 12th District (142 of 146 precincts reporting).