The U.S. congressman whose district stretches across nine southern counties on Thursday filed for a fourth two-year term.
Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, will face off against Clarence W. Goins Jr. and former pastor Mark Harris in the May 8 primary for the District 9 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. District 9 includes a portion of Mecklenburg County, all of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson counties, and most of Bladen and Cumberland counties.
“As a businessman and conservative, I look forward to working with President Trump to continue our pro-growth policies to create better jobs, secure our country from our adversaries, reduce spending and taxes and protect the right to life. Our constituent services will continue to be the best as we meet critical needs throughout our district,” Pittenger said in a statement.
Harris and Todd Johnson challenged Pittenger in the 2016 Republican primary. During that election, Johnson carried a majority of the rural areas, including his home county of Union.
Early poll results showed him leading the race, but the numbers for Pittenger and Harris began to rise as precincts in Mecklenburg county began reporting.
When the night was over, Pittenger was declared the winner with 135 more votes than Harris — the margin of votes less than 1 percent of the total votes cast — resulting in a recount won by the incumbent.
Two Democrats have filed for District 9, Dan McCready and Christian Cano, both of Charlotte. Pittenger defeated Cano in the General Election in 2016.
Libertarian Jeff Scott also has filed as a candidate for the District 9 seat.
All candidates registered so far are from Charlotte — aside from Goins, who is from Eastover in Cumberland County.
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, speaks to Richmond County Republicans in 2016. Pittenger filed for re-election on Thursday.