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Primary runoff election to fill Rep. Mark Meadows’ seat is delayed

North Carolina race postponed from May 12 to June 23

North Carolina election officials are postponing the Republican primary runoff in retiring GOP Rep. Mark Meadows’ district, citing concerns about the new coronavirus.

Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the state board of elections, issued an emergency executive order Friday afternoon postponing the May 12 runoff for the 11th District in Western North Carolina to June 23.

Real estate agent and GOP activist Lynda Bennett, whom Meadows endorsed ahead of the March 3 primary, was the top vote-getter in that race among a field that included 11 other candidates, all men. But she failed to get more than 30 percent of the vote and faces a runoff against 25 year-old real estate investor Madison Cawthorn, who came in second. The eventual winner will face Democrat Moe Davis, a retired Air Force colonel, in November.

Meadows announced in December he would not seek another term. President Donald Trump announced March 6 that Meadows would be the next White House chief of staff. The congressman has remained a member of the House, however.

Whoever wins the GOP runoff is expected to have an advantage in the general election in the 11th District, which President Donald Trump would have won by 17 points in 2016, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections, under the new North Carolina congressional map drawn last year.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.

Stephanie Akin contributed to this report.

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