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Many incumbents advance, Ellmers loses, Pittenger fighting

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several North Carolina congressional incumbents and a sitting Supreme Court justice won their primary elections Tuesday and advanced to November's general election.

But Rep. Renee Ellmers lost her head-to-head matchup to Rep. George Holding in the 2nd District, and another sitting member of Congress was narrowly ahead over two Republican rivals in a race that could require a recount.

Here's a look at primary races across the state:


U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger may have survived a primary challenge from a Charlotte pastor and a former local elected official.

Complete, unofficial results Tuesday show Pittenger with a lead in the 9th District Republican primary of less than 150 votes over the Rev. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte. Former Union County Commissioner Todd Johnson was about 1,200 votes back.

The margin between Pittenger and Harris was less than 1 percent of the total votes cast, so Harris can demand a recount.

The winner will take on Democrat Christian Cano in November.

Court-ordered redistricting in February took Pittenger's largely affluent Charlotte-area district that he first won in 2012 and moved it east toward poorer counties along the South Carolina border, then north toward Fayetteville.



U.S. Rep. Alma Adams turned back Democratic challengers after her longtime Greensboro home was left out of North Carolina's redrawn 12th District that she represents.

Final, unofficial results show Adams winning the Democratic primary that featured seven candidates. Former state Sen. Malcolm Graham of Charlotte was second, and current state Rep. Tricia Cotham of Matthews was third.

Adams was first elected in 2014 and worked to retain her current seat when redistricting shifted the district's boundaries far away from where she lived to cover most of Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County. The previous lines had covered both parts of Greensboro and Charlotte.

Adams will take on Tuesday's Republican winner Leon Threatt in November. The district is heavily Democratic.



Seventeen Republican candidates in the race for the 13th District GOP nomination has been reduced to one as political newcomer Ted Budd of Advance pulled away from a crowded field.

Budd fended off the other Republican candidates — including several state legislators —to win the primary in the newly redrawn 13th. Complete, unofficial results showed Budd received 20 percent of the vote. Three other candidates had slightly more than 10 percent each.

Budd owns a gun store and was boosted by about a half-million dollars in support from the Club for Growth.

The district's five-candidate Democratic primary was too close to call. Results show Bruce Davis of High Point leading Bob Isner of Greensboro by a little over 100 votes. A recount was possible.



Veteran U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. won the 3rd District Republican primary over a former Bush administration official for the second consecutive election cycle. Unofficial results had Jones receiving 65 percent of the votes cast, with Phil Law of Jacksonville and Taylor Griffin of New Bern trailing.

Griffin narrowly lost to Jones in the 2014 primary for the eastern North Carolina district. Griffin and Law had planned to run against Jones in the March primary and refiled when redistricting delayed House races.

Jones has been in Congress since 1995. He's been a frequent critic of House Republican leaders and opposed the Iraq war.

Jones will take on Democratic primary winner Ernest Reeves in November in the GOP-leaning district.



Republican incumbents Virginia Foxx (5th District), Richard Hudson (8th District), Patrick McHenry (10th) and Mark Walker (6th) all won by comfortable margins over GOP opponents. They will be challenged by Democrats in the fall. Josh Brannon won the Democratic party primary to take on Foxx.

Other primary winners were Republican Sue Googe in the 4th District, who will take on Democratic Rep. David Price, and Democrat John McNeil in the 2nd, who will challenge Holding. Rick Bryson narrowly won the 11th District Democratic primary and will challenge Republican Rep. Mark Meadows.



Associate Justice Bob Edmunds and a Wake County Superior Court judge have advanced to the general election for a seat on North Carolina's highest court.

Unofficial and nearly complete results show Edmunds win 48 percent of the vote and Michael Morgan at 34 percent. Trailing were Sabra Faires of Cary and Daniel Robertson of Advance.

Edmunds, who is from Greensboro, has served on the Supreme Court since 2001. The state Republican Party sent mailers and automated recorded calls featuring Gov. Pat McCrory urging people to vote for Edmunds. Morgan was backed by the state Democratic Party.



With all precincts reporting, unofficial results from the State Board of Elections showed that more than 505,000 people had cast ballots, or 7.7 percent of the nearly 6.6 million registered voters. More absentee and provisional ballots will be added to the total over the next several days.

Although this is a presidential election year, the initial turnout rate is lower than midterm primary elections in recent history.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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