NC-02

Vodka Distillery Owner Takes On George Holding in North Carolina
Sam Searcy says GOP health care vote was impetus for his campaign

Democrat Sam Searcy is challenging North Carolina Rep. George Holding, above, he announced on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are hoping that the owner of a new vodka distillery in Durham can help them pick up a suburban Raleigh district currently represented by GOP North Carolina Rep. George Holding.

Democrat Sam Searcy announced his campaign for North Carolina’s 2nd District on Monday. The 40-year-old Holly Springs resident says the House’s vote for the GOP health care bill was the final push he needed to run. He’d been thinking about a bid for Congress even before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.

Democrats Expanding Battlefield Into Trump Country
DCCC adds 20 more GOP seats to its target list

The DCCC is targeting California Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday added 20 seats to its target list for 2018. The House Democrats’ campaign arm is now going after 79 Republican-held seats in the midterms.

President Donald Trump won these newly targeted seats by anywhere from 6 to 49 points. The first round of 59 targets, announced in January, included the 23 GOP-held seats that Hillary Clinton carried last fall. But it also included plenty of red districts, including at least eight districts that Trump carried by 15 points or more.

Ellmers Becomes First GOP Incumbent to Lose in 2016
Trump's late endorsement couldn't save heavily targeted incumbent

Renee Ellmers is the first GOP incumbent of the year to lose. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers, the first GOP member of Congress endorsed by Donald Trump, lost her primary Tuesday night to fellow Republican Rep. George Holding.

Ellmers is now the first GOP member of the year to lose. She faced not only a redistricting challenge but also an onslaught of opposition from outside groups.

First GOP Incumbent to Fall on Busy Primary Day
One of North Carolina's Republican members will lose on Tuesday

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., left, arrives for a House Republican Conference meeting in October. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday will be a busy day for congressional candidates, with primaries in four states.  

No matter what, the first GOP incumbent of the year will lose.  

Ellmers Wins Trump's First Congressional Endorsement
North Carolina Republican was the first congresswoman to back Trump

Renee Ellmers is facing another incumbent in Tuesday's primary. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Days before North Carolina's congressional primaries, Donald Trump endorsed GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in a robocall set to go out to district residents on Monday.   

This is the first time the presumptive GOP nominee has endorsed a congressional candidate.