Ted Budd won his first race for political office, leading a field of 17 Republican candidates in the congressional primary for the newly redrawn 13th District north of Charlotte.
Budd, a Davie County gun shop owner backed by the conservative Club for Growth Action, had 20 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.
Rep. John Blust of Greensboro came in second with 10 percent of the vote in the Republican-leaning district.
U.S. Rep. George Holding, who moved his candidacy from the 13th District after it was redrawn, unseated incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers in the Raleigh-area 2nd District.
In other Charlotte-area congressional districts, GOP Rep. Richard Hudson and Rep. Patrick McHenry easily beat back Republican challengers.
Tuesday’s voting for congressional races was a do-over of primary voting in March that was nullified by a federal court ruling that two N.C. districts were racially gerrymandered. There will be no runoffs in this year’s congressional primaries.
The conservative political advocacy group Club for Growth Action spent nearly $500,000 for Budd, who has never run for office and touted his outsider status. The National Association of Realtors spent $325,000 on behalf of N.C. Rep. Julia Howard, who is also from Davie County.
In the closer Democratic race, former Guilford County commissioner Bruce Davis led four other candidates with 26 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.
No district in the country had more candidates than the 22 in the redrawn 13th, which had no incumbent to beat. The new district covers Iredell, Davie and Davidson counties and parts of Guilford and Rowan counties.
The 17 Republican candidates included four state legislators and two others who had run in other districts before boundaries were withdrawn.
Hudson of Concord beat Hoke County businessman Tim D’Annunzio, who was making his third House run. Hudson had 65 percent of the vote to D’Annunzio’s 35 percent with all precincts reporting.
Hudson will take on Democrat Thomas Mills of Carrboro in November.
The new 8th District sweeps east from Cabarrus County to Fayetteville. It’s familiar territory to Hudson, an aide to former GOP Rep. Robin Hayes, who represented the area for a decade.
Hudson, first elected in 2012, touted his rating as the 12th most conservative member of the 113th Congress as well as A ratings from the NRA and National Right to Life.
McHenry, who won his House seat a dozen years ago at 29, cruised to victory in the Republican primary with 78 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting. The conservative-leaning 10th District runs from Asheville to Hickory.
Backed by a $1.5 million campaign account at the close of the first quarter, he faced three challengers with little campaign cash who said he isn’t conservative enough.
McHenry will face the only Democrat to file for the seat, Andy Millard, who owns a financial planning agency in Tryon.
Holding easily beat Ellmers in a three-way Republican primary to represent the Raleigh area. Conservative groups that lined up against the two-term Ellmers rejoiced, with the N.C. Values Coalition calling Holding’s apparent win a “pro-life victory.”
With all precincts reporting, Holding had 53 percent of the vote, Ellmers 24 percent of the vote and Cary obstetrician Greg Brannon, 23 percent. Brannon jumped into the race after losing a March primary to incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.
The primary attracted national attention because it’s the only place where two incumbents oppose each other.
Holding joined the race after lawmakers redrew his 13th District and moved it north of Charlotte. Outside groups poured in more than $1.6 million, most of it against incumbent Ellmers as she fought off criticism that she is not truly conservative.
The American Conservative Union endorsed Holding, who sought a third term.
Holding will face Democrat John P. McNeil, a Raleigh attorney, in November. McNeil easily beat four other Democrats with 47 percent of the vote with most precincts reporting, winning a comparatively low-key race.
Jim Morrill, Tim Funk, McClatchy’s Washington Bureau and the (Raleigh) News & Observer contributed.