North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced a Nov. 4 special election to replace longtime Democratic Rep. Melvin Watt, ensuring the contest coincides with previously scheduled elections in the Tar Heel State. The 12th District primary — which will mostly likely determine the next member of Congress from this deeply Democratic district — will be held May 6. A runoff is scheduled for July 15. “Because of the various filing deadlines, ballot preparation time, state and federal calendar requirements for ballot access, voter registration deadlines and to avoid voter confusion, it was determined the most efficient process would be to roll the special election into the already established primary and general election dates,” a news release from McCrory’s office said.
The candidate who wins the special election will likely be sworn in soon after the November midterms.
Seven Democrats have been running for Watt’s seat since he was nominated to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency this spring. Another candidate recently announced his candidacy following Watt’s confirmation to that post.