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Candidate Filing Closed, Incumbents Facing Challenges From Own Party

Candidate filing closed at noon today in Mecklenburg County and around the state, setting the fields for spring primaries in local, state and federal races.  A key theme: incumbents facing challenges from within their own parties.  According to Michael Bitzer, a political analyst at Catawba College, that's true in races from Congress down to the county commission.

"This happens in both parties," said Bitzer. "There can be times when incumbents, who are seen as safe incumbents, may be challenged from within their own ranks, and within the party's philosophy.

One of those races is in the 9th Congressional District, where incumbent Robert Pittenger faces two Republicans in the primary as he tries to keep his seat. They are Fayetteville banker Clarence Goins and former Baptist pastor Mark Harris, who barely lost the nomination to Pittenger two years ago.

Alma Adams will face three primary challengers in the 12th Congressional district – Gabe Ortiz, Patrick Register and Keith Young

Several state legislators from the Charlotte area also are facing primary challenges.  Four Democrats are opposing state Senator Joel Ford in the 38th District. Longtime Democratic state Representative Rodney Moore of Charlotte also has three opponents in the May primary. Republican state Senator Dan Bishop faces a challenge from Beth Monaghan in the 39th District.

In District 102, incumbent Democrat Becky Carney of Charlotte will face Josh Jarrett in the primary. Blanche Penn is challenging Carla Cunningham for her seat in the 106th District Democratic primary.  

The 100th District seat of state Representative Beverly Earle is up for grabs as she retires. Four fellow Democrats want to take her place:  Carolyn Logan, Chance Harris, Gregory Miller and Lucille Puckett.

Democratic Sheriff Irwin Carmichael also faces a primary challenge, from Antoine Ensley and Garry McFadden.

In the race for Mecklenburg District Attorney, public defender Toussaint Romain is challenging current DA Spencer Merriweather. Both are Democrats.

And on the Mecklenburg County Commission, the three at-large members - all Democrats - have four challengers.

Primaries are May 8th.