special election
September 10, 2019

Republican Dan Bishop narrowly won Tuesday's special election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, defeating Democrat Dan McCready, The Associated Press projects.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Bishop has 51 percent of the vote, compared to McCready with 49 percent. The district is reliably Republican, and President Trump won here in 2016 by 11 percentage points; he came out to North Carolina on Monday to stump for Bishop, and said a Bishop victory would be the first step in "winning back the House in 2020." Bishop is a conservative and was the lead writer of the bill prohibiting which bathrooms transgender individuals can use.

This was a do-over election, after the November 2018 election results were invalidated once evidence of vote tampering was discovered. McCready ran against Republican Mark Harris in that race, but following very dramatic proceedings, which included his son testifying that he told his dad he shouldn't hire an operative known for using illegal tactics, Harris announced he would not run again. Catherine Garcia

September 10, 2019

Republican state Rep. Greg Murphy defeated Democrat Allen Thomas Tuesday night in the special election for North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District.

The Associated Press called the race not long after polls closed. With 44 percent of precincts reporting, Murphy had 59 percent of the vote, compared to Thomas with 40 percent. In July, Murphy won the Republican primary runoff, defeating pediatrician Joan Perry.

The special election was called following the death of Rep. Walter B. Jones (R), who died in February while serving his 13th term; he was first elected in 1994. Murphy is expected to join the extremely conservative House Freedom Caucus. Catherine Garcia

August 15, 2017

The results are in from Alabama's special Senate race primary, and Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) and Roy Moore, a conservative former Alabama Supreme Court justice, are moving forward and will go head-to-head in a GOP runoff, The Associated Press has projected.

They are vying for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Strange was appointed to replace Sessions in February, and Moore became famous for twice being suspended — once for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument and another time for refusing to recognize same-sex marriages. President Trump, the National Rifle Association, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's super PAC endorsed Strange, but he still came up behind Moore, who had 41 percent of the vote compared to Strange's 32 percent.

Rep. Mo Brooks finished in third place with 20 percent. On the Democratic side, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones won the nomination, after being endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden. Catherine Garcia

May 25, 2017

Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana's at-large House seat, was charged with misdemeanor assault on Wednesday night after he body-slammed a reporter, Ben Jacobs of The Guardian, for asking him questions about the GOP health-care bill, according to accounts by Jacobs and three witnesses from Fox News. Late Wednesday and early Thursday, three Montana newspapers — the Missoulian, the Helena Independent Record, and the Billings Gazette — rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte, in no uncertain terms. The election is Thursday.

Gianforte "not only lost the endorsement of this newspaper Wednesday night," the Missoulian editorial board wrote, "he should lose the confidence of all Montanans."

We will leave it to the legal system to determine his guilt or innocence. But there is no doubt that Gianforte committed an act of terrible judgment that, if it doesn't land him in jail, also shouldn't land him in the U.S. House of Representatives. ... He does not represent Montana values and he should not represent us in Congress. [Missoulian]

The Independent Review noted that "democracy cannot exist without a free press," saying "both concepts are under attack" by Gianforte, with Wednesday night just being the most serious and latest example. "We cannot in good faith continue to support this candidate," the editorial board said.

The Billings Gazette called Gianforte's reported actions "shocking, disturbing, and without precedent," and worthy of "rescinding our editorial endorsement." They called him untrustworthy and lacking sound judgment. "We believe that you cannot love America, love the Constitution, talk about the importance of a free press, and then pummel a reporter," the editorial board said, but to make this about press freedoms "would be to miss the point":

If what was heard on tape and described by eye-witnesses is accurate, the incident in Bozeman is nothing short of assault. We wouldn't condone it if it happened on the street. We wouldn't condone it if it happened in a home or even a late-night bar fight. And we couldn't accept it from a man who is running to become Montana's lone congressional representative. We will not stand by that kind of violence, period. [Billings Gazette]

None of the newspapers explicitly endorsed Gianforte's rival, Democrat Rob Quist, but they made it pretty clear who they did not want to see in Congress. You can read the full editorials at the Missoulian, Billings Gazette, and Independent Record, or hear the details in this Associated Press report. Peter Weber

May 25, 2017

Greg Gianforte, the Republican running against Democrat Rob Quist in Thursday's special election for the open House seat in Montana, has been issued a citation for misdemeanor assault related to his reported manhandling of reporter Ben Jacobs at a campaign event Wednesday evening in Bozeman, Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin said Wednesday night. "The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault," Gootkin said in a statement, adding that Gianforte "is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7." The punishment for misdemeanor assault is no more than $500 or up to 6 months in county jail.

Gootkin also said that he had been asked about a political contribution he'd made to Gianforte's campaign. "I did contribute $250 on March 23, 2017," the sheriff said. "This contribution has nothing to do with our investigation which is now complete." Gianforte has long been expected to win the heavily Republican state, though the race is much closer than Republicans would like. Quist has been hammering Gianforte for telling donors he supports the House GOP health-care bill and telling the public he opposes it; Jacobs was asking Gianforte about the new Congressional Budget Office score of the bill when, according to Fox News reporters in the room, Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground." Peter Weber

April 10, 2017

The 4th District in south-central Kansas is solidly red, but Democrats, energized by the fact they turned 12 seats in the state legislature blue in 2016, are hopeful that their candidate in Tuesday's special election will come out on top.

The election will replace Mike Pompeo, who became director of the CIA after President Trump's inauguration; in the last three congressional elections, Pompeo's Democratic challengers received just 30 percent of the vote, KMUW reports. Facing off are Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights attorney and Army vet who backs unions, has grassroots support, and was inspired to run by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Republican Ron Estes, the state treasurer and former Sedgwick County treasurer who was an early and outspoken Trump supporter and promises to cut regulations.

Trump has recorded a robocall for Estes, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held a rally for him on Monday afternoon; an internal GOP poll last week showed Estes ahead by single digits in the district Trump carried by 27 points, The New York Times reports.

This is the first congressional election of the Trump era, but there's another upcoming election that's getting more attention — and more money. The race in Georgia's 6th district, in suburban Atlanta, will replace Tom Price, the new Health and Human Services secretary. There are four Republicans and one Democrat, Jon Ossoff, in the running, and Ossoff has raised more than $8 million. Although this should be a safe Republican seat, Ossoff is performing strongly, and should he win 50 percent of the vote on April 18, there won't even be a runoff election. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads