Politics & Government

Did Donald Trump endorse in the 9th House race? His campaign isn’t saying.


Donald Trump endorsed one North Carolina congressional candidate this week. But did he endorse Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger as well?

Pittenger, fighting for the nomination in the 9th District, says he did. His campaign sent out a news release trumpeting the endorsement and included a tweet from “NC Team Trump.” It wasn’t clear whether the Twitter account was connected to the campaign.

But one of Pittenger’s GOP opponents said Pittenger was “lying.”

“That account isn’t even officially related to Trump’s campaign. We reached out to them to be sure,” said Mark Knoop, campaign manager for Mark Harris. “Trump hasn’t endorsed Pittenger. This one is incompetence or misleading.”

Also running in the 9th is Todd Johnson, a former Union County commissioner.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond when a reporter forwarded a copy of Pittenger’s news release. And Trump’s N.C. director, Earl Phillip of Mecklenburg County, said he couldn’t comment.

“My comment is no comment,” Phillip said.

Trump has endorsed GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in the 2nd District. He even released an automated “robo” call for her. She faces fellow GOP Rep. George Holding and two-time Senate candidate Greg Brannon.