US Rep. Pittenger prevails in tight North Carolina primary


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger prevailed Monday in his tight congressional primary after a recount confirmed his razor-thin victory.

Machine recounts were finished around noon in the counties that make up the 9th District, and the totals changed by less than a handful of votes, according to a table of results provided by the State Board of Elections.

Pittenger edged challenger Mark Harris by about 130 votes out of the 26,000 ballots cast in the three-way primary.

Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, said in an email that he spoke to Pittenger to congratulate him on his win. Under state law, Harris had the right to a recount because he was behind by less than 1 percent of votes cast.

“It’s no secret that this was a hard-fought campaign, but I hope for his success in November,” Harris wrote to his supporters.

Pittenger, who faces Democrat Christian Cano in the general election, released a statement saying that he was happy with the results and looking ahead to November.

“We had full faith in the election process and are happy our victory was verified,” he said.

Recent North Carolina history has few instances of an election night outcome being flipped during a recount, largely because of the reliability of modern voting equipment.

The race was one of two that were too close to call on election night. The other was resolved without a recount.

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.

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