The special election in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District will be held along with the state’s regular elections, leaving the seat empty for what appears to be a record length of time. Gov. Pat McCrory made the announcement Monday hours after Democratic Rep. Mel Watt of Charlotte was sworn in as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Before a ceremonial White House ceremony, Watt was sworn in by his Charlotte protege, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The special election to fill his seat will involve the first special primary election in the state’s history, according to legislative counsel Gerry Cohen.
With an expected July runoff and November general election, it means the district will be without representation for nearly a year. At least one candidate believes that’s too long.
“The constituents of the 12th District deserve a quick and fair election,” state Rep. Alma Adams of Greensboro said in a statement. “Instead, they are being silenced. Over 600,000 constituents will not have a voice or a vote in Congress until after November, and that is a shame.”