As speculation heated up that U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows would be tapped to be President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, the North Carolina political world started speculating as well.
If Meadows had headed to the White House, North Carolina would need to hold a special election to fill the seat. Meanwhile, the 9th Congressional District appears headed to a special election after allegations of election fraud.
Former Gov. Pat McCrory would be a good fit for both.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds.
McCrory bought waterfront property on Lake James in McDowell County in 2017 and has spent a good bit of time there. That’s smack in the heart of the 11th Congressional District that Meadows represents.
As it’s currently drawn, the 11th is overwhelmingly red, and McCrory remains popular among Republicans.
Under North Carolina law, you don’t have to live in a congressional district to represent it, so there would not be any residency concerns. At least not of the legal variety — voters could certainly hold it against him if they were concerned he’s not from there.
McCrory would likely have the most name recognition of any possible candidate.
One outside chance to challenge that would be Franklin Graham, whose home in Arden is in the 11th.
Second-term State Rep. Cody Henson of Transylvania County could also be a strong candidate, though he is untested.
While Trump didn’t end up picking Meadows, McCrory could still give the 11th a chance when Meadows retires if it stays roughly the same.
In the meantime, the 9th Congressional District could be attractive for McCrory.
I’ve heard rumblings that McCrory is interested in running for Congress, and those rumors have centered around the 9th District that includes part of Charlotte.
McCrory would be a formidable opponent in an open Republican primary for the 9th District. He carried Union County with more than 63% of the vote in 2016 and performed very well in the parts of Mecklenburg County that are in the district.