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Proposed N.C. Congressional Map Sets Up Incumbent Showdown

Much of Holding's current district would move into another. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Republicans are gearing up for a showdown between 13th District Rep. George Holding and 2nd District Rep. Renee Ellmers as a result of a proposed new congressional map the General Assembly approved Friday.

"Nobody's too thrilled about a primary, but that's the democratic way," Carter Wrenn, a consultant working for the Holding campaign, told  The Raleigh News and Observer

Scalia's Death Adds More Uncertainty to North Carolina Elections

Ellmers faces a competitive March 15 primary that may be delayed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Primary day is less than a month away in North Carolina, home to two of this cycle's more competitive Republican House primaries. A court order to redraw the state's map by Friday had already thrown into question the March 15 primary, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death this weekend is adding extra uncertainty to when the state's congressional elections will take place.  

The General Assembly's joint legislative redistricting committee held public hearings Monday to discuss how to draw a new map, and on Tuesday, the committee agreed that race would not be considered when revising districts. The joint redistricting committee also agreed to maintain the current partisan split: Republicans control 10 congressional seats and Democrats control three. A map proposal isn't expected until Wednesday, on which the full General Assembly would then vote on Thursday and Friday in a special session.  

Redistricting Case Could Delay North Carolina's Primary

Ellmers faces a March 15 primary, but there's now speculation that will be pushed back because of redistricting litigation in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By moving up all its primaries from May to March 15, North Carolina thought it would be playing a more pivotal role in this year's presidential election. But a recent federal court ruling invalidating two of the state's congressional districts threatens to delay this year's earlier-than-normal primary and upend elections in which early voting is already under way.  

A three-judge panel ruled on Feb. 5 that the GOP-legislature relied too heavily on race in 2011 to draw the 1st and 12th Districts. The court gave the state until Feb. 19 to draw new districts, and on Tuesday, the same court denied a request from the state to stay its decision.  

Walter Jones' Leadership Letter Solidifies Outsider Image Ahead of Rematch

Jones, seen here after a House Republican Conference meeting earlier this year, injected himself into last week's leadership shakeup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walter B. Jones has never been afraid of making waves during his 11 terms in Congress. And his latest appearance in the spotlight  may just help the North Carolina Republican stick around for a 12th .  

To conservative primary voters, Jones' letter asking anyone who had committed "misdeeds" to withdraw from House GOP leadership elections last week may have reinforced the incumbent's outsider image.  

Walter Jones Primary Challenger Looks for Rematch in 2016

Jones is facing a repeat primary challenge from Griffin. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Taylor Griffin plans to announce a primary bid against North Carolina 3rd District Rep. Walter B. Jones on Wednesday, according to a release first obtained by CQ Roll Call.  

Republicans in the state had long expected Griffin to mount a repeat challenge after he came within 6 points of knocking off the 11-term congressman in 2014. In a conservative district that Mitt Romney carried by double digits, the winner of the GOP primary will win the seat.  

Undeterred by Primary Threats, Walter Jones to Seek 12th Term

Jones is a Republican from North Carolina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., has no plans to retire in 2016, when Republicans are likely plotting another primary to oust the GOP gadfly.  

"Absolutely," Jones told CQ Roll Call earlier this month about his re-election plans. “We had a fundraiser last night. We have a fundraiser next Tuesday when I go to Farmville, [North Carolina].  

House Race Results in North Carolina (Updated)

Jones won despite outside group's significant investment in his challenger. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:17 p.m. |  Longtime Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., defeated his GOP challenger  Tuesday night, declaring victory in the toughest primary since he came to Congress 20 years ago.  

Jones defeated Taylor Griffin, a former aide to President George W. Bush , 52 percent to 45 percent, with 66 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.  

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primaries

Tillis and his wife Susan knock on doors in an upscale Huntersville, N.C., neighborhood north of Charlotte, the evening before the primary election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Primary voters head to the polls Tuesday in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio, marking the first contests in a long series  of contentious Republican battles over the next month .  

In North Carolina, state Speaker Thom Tillis, Dr. Greg Brannon, and Pastor Mark Harris are vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a marquee race that will help determine which party controls the Senate next year.  

Will Walter Jones Be the First Incumbent to Fall?

A conservative outside group is targeting Jones. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A well-funded conservative outside group is devoting significant money to an attempt to make North Carolina GOP Rep. Walter B. Jones the first incumbent to fall this cycle, but Republicans in the state are skeptical the sudden burst of spending will ultimately be enough to take Jones out.  

With the investment by Ending Spending Action Fund, a super PAC formed by TD Ameritrade Founder Joe Ricketts, Jones faces what will likely end up being the best-financed primary opposition of his 20-year congressional tenure. The group reported last week spending $156,000 on an ad attacking Jones, one of the last remaining Republicans from the class of 1994, for his "liberal" voting record and for "losing his North Carolina values."  

Walter Jones Blasts Primary Challenger's Hill Fundraiser

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:30 p.m. | Rep. Walter B. Jones blasted his primary opponent Wednesday, implying that he is a “puppet of Washington” after CQ Roll Call reported that a cadre of plugged-in Republican operatives are hosting a fundraiser for his challenger this week.  

The North Carolina Republican said the Capitol Hill fundraiser with a handful of longtime GOP aides shows the influence of Washington insiders and campaign money in politics, rather than ideas and principles.