lynda bennett

Cory Vaillancourt

Madison Cawthorn, who would be the youngest member of Congress should he be elected this fall, trounced fellow Republican Lynda Bennett in Tuesday's runoff election to win the GOP nomination for North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.  He'll face Democrat Moe Davis in the November general election.

Polls open at 6:30 Tuesday morning for the runoff election in Western North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.  Maggie Valley businesswoman Lynda Bennett faces Henderson County real estate investor Madison Cawthorn for the GOP nomination for the seat previously held by President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.  Polls close at 7:30 Tuesday evening.

High-Profile NC11 Congressional Runoff Draws Near

Jun 9, 2020
Cory Vaillancourt

The race to replace Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows enters a new phase this month. 

Early voting has begun for the June 23 Second Primary for the GOP nomination in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional district, as eligible Republicans and independents will decide whom faces Democrat Moe Davis in November.

The runoff election is just another chapter in a saga that even the most-seasoned political expert might have found implausible just months ago. 

In less than a month, voters in Western North Carolina decide the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District.  Outside of whether Lynda Bennett or Madison Cawthorn wins on June 23rd, how voters cast their ballots during a pandemic will be a major takeaway from the race - and a potential foreshadow of how prevalent mail-in voting will be for the November general election.

Republican congressional-candidate Lynda Bennett, who hopes to win the District 11 seat recently vacated by her political patron Mark Meadows, is calling for an immediate end to North Carolina’s stay-home order, calling pandemic restrictions an infringement “on our rights and freedom.”

What has long been rumored is now reality – Western North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows will become President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.   The move will likely leave his seat in Congress vacant for eight months if not longer.

Republican voters in Western North Carolina will head to the polls again in just two months to decide a runoff primary following Tuesday’s results in the 11th Congressional district.  No candidate in the 11-person field for the GOP nomination hit the 30% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.  That means the top two vote-getters – Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn – will face each other in the May runoff. 

Helen Chickering / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor Moe Davis easily outdistanced his rivals to win the Democratic primary for the open Congressional seat in Western North Carolina's 11th district.  His GOP opponent is still unknown, as none of the 11 candidates on the ballot came close to the 30% needed to avoid a runoff.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

North Carolina primary election voters will decide nominees for a long list of races - from the presidency all the day down to city council.  This week, BPR is talking with voters from both parties to get a sense of what will drive them to the polls.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Early voting concludes Saturday February 29th ahead of the March 3rd primary election in North Carolina.  In Western North Carolina, voters will begin the process of choosing a new member of Congress.  The 11th Congressional District has new boundaries this year, ensuring all of the westernmost portion of the state is in the same district.  In the Republican primary in the 11th, having no incumbent brought out one of the largest primary fields in the country.