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North Carolina redo election is the last race of 2018 — and the first of 2020
Democrat Dan McCready faces a new Republican opponent in September special election

Dan McCready, Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 9th District, talks with a young supporter Friday during a fish fry at the Scotland County Democratic Party headquarters in Laurinburg, N.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LAURINBURG, N.C. — Dan McCready is used to this.

“Y’all know this isn’t an easy race for a Democrat,” the candidate for North Carolina’s 9th District said, swatting away an army of gnats swarming attendees at a fish fry Friday night.

Juul under continued scrutiny over flavors, marketing tactics
Juul officials will appear before panel Thursday and will likely address Wednesday allegations

Sen. Richard Durbin, the bill sponsor for preventing the sale of flavored e-cigarette products said that raising the age of tobacco purchasing 'isn't enough.' The popular e-cigarette Juul is under scrutiny for appealing to young people through e-cigarette flavors.  (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The popular e-cigarette Juul is under renewed scrutiny by Congress thanks to two days of hearings that could pressure lawmakers to act on e-cigarette flavors that appeal to young people.

On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Reform Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee heard from witnesses about the company’s efforts to attract some vulnerable populations, namely teenagers and American Indians.

North Carolina gears up for competitive special election in 9th District
Voters in the 9th and 3rd districts head to polls on Sept. 10

Voters in two North Carolina districts head to the polls on Sept. 10, but only the race in the 9th District is expected to be competitive. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress and Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

With the Republican drama in North Carolina’s 3rd District primary runoff now settled, attention in the Tar Heel State shifts to the more competitive of the two House special elections to be held on Sept. 10. 

Voters in the 9th District will choose a new representative in a redo election of last fall’s contest, which was never certified because of ballot fraud connected to the GOP nominee’s campaign. 

North Carolina Republican runoff tests the future of the House GOP
Outside groups backing GOP women have spent more than $1 million for Joan Perry

Joan Perry, seen here greeting voters on Emerald Isle, N.C., last month, is running for the GOP nomination in the open 3rd District. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters in eastern North Carolina are heading to the polls Tuesday for a low-profile special election with a lot at stake. 

Regardless of who wins the Republican primary runoff, the 3rd District seat formerly held by the late Rep. Walter B. Jones will almost certainly remain in GOP hands after the special general election on Sept. 10. But the outcome of Tuesday’s internecine contest could say a lot about how the GOP approaches identity politics heading into 2020.

Women’s group launches second TV ad in North Carolina GOP runoff
Winning for Women is supporting Joan Perry over Greg Murphy in the open 3rd District seat

North Carolina Republican Joan Perry, who’s running for the open 3rd District seat, meets voters on Emerald Isle on June 22. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

Winning for Women, an outside group that helps elect female Republicans, is launching its second ad in North Carolina’s 3rd District special election, accusing the male candidate backed by the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus of being an unreliable supporter of President Donald Trump.

Winning for Women supports pediatrician Joan Perry in the GOP primary runoff that takes place July 9. Perry represents the party’s best chance of adding another woman to its conference in the House, which is down to just 13 this year. All the Republican women in the chamber, as well as a growing list of men, are backing Perry. 

When it comes to Facebook, breaking up is hard to do
2020 Democratic hopefuls rail against social media giant, but rely on it for fundraising

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has called for breaking up Facebook, is using the platform the most among Democratic presidential candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most of the current lawmakers spending big on Facebook advertisements are Democrats running for president. That’s no surprise, given the effectiveness the social media giant gives them in reaching the slice of the electorate they need to raise money and qualify for primary debates.

Still, it’s notable that the one using the platform the most is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who has called for breaking up the tech giant.

More sponsors abandon baseball team over AOC ‘enemy of freedom’ video
Heineken International joins raisin company Sun-Maid in leaving sponsorship of Fresno Grizzlies

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was featured on a video at the Fresno Grizzlies Memorial Day baseball game alongside Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Un. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

First, the Fresno Grizzlies lost their raisins. Now they’ve lost their beer.

Heineken International, which owns its namesake beer brand as well as Dos Equis and Tecate, announced via Twitter on Thursday that it was yanking its sponsorship of the Grizzlies. The company decided to cut ties after the team played a video at its Memorial Day game that equated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with controversial figures including despots Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Un.

PAC seeking campaign finance reform launches $50,000 ad targeting Mitch McConnell
Digital ad is first from Democratically aligned End Citizens United group

Outside groups are targeting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, but so far none of the big name challengers eyeing his seat in 2020 have announced a bid. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratically-aligned group End Citizens United on Tuesday launched a $50,000 digital advertising campaign aimed at unseating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky — before McConnell even has a credible challenger.

The ad, End Citizens United’s first independent expenditure of the 2020 cycle, highlights McConnell’s work to block campaign finance reform measures in Washington. 

Could this be the primary where outside GOP groups help women win?
Female Republicans in North Carolina's 3rd District earn endorsements from super PACs

Voters in North Carolina’s 3rd District will pick their party nominees in the special election primary for the the late Rep. Walter B. Jones’ seat. Winners must clear 30 percent of the vote, or the top-two finishers will advance to a July runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans’ biggest problem electing women has been in primaries.

But in the first special election primary of the year, where 17 Republicans are vying next week for the nod in North Carolina’s 3rd District, the two candidates who have attracted the most significant outside support are women.

Democrats launch Tax Day ad attack aimed at GOP overhaul
Effort on Facebook signals 2018 messaging on tax law is here to stay for 2020

The DCCC is attacking Texas Rep. Pete Olson in its latest round of digital ads (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To coincide with Tax Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out digital ads on Monday attacking 12 Republicans for the GOP tax plan that passed during the 115th Congress.

The new Facebook ads, obtained first by Roll Call, signal Democrats will continue to use the 2017 tax overhaul, which passed with only Republican votes, as a key part of their economic message heading into 2020, when the party will be trying to protect their midterm gains and expand the map by investing heavily in such places as Texas.