NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) — Republican State Senator Dan Bishop is the unofficial winner of a special election to fill North Carolina’s vacant U.S. House of Representatives District 3 seat.
Bishop received 96,081 votes and Democrat Dan McCready came in second with 92,144 votes.
Libertarian Jeff Scott followed third with 767 votes and Green Party candidate Allen Smith trailed last with 371 votes.
McCready could only ask for a recount if the results are not more than 1 percent of the total votes cast.
On Tuesday, many voters in Bladen County came out for a second time to cast their vote for the seat which has remained vacant nearly a year.
“It’s been what, 10 months, 10 or 11 months since we had anyone,” voter Kenneth Kelly said.
Brenna Hopkins also voted in last November’s election and cast her vote in the special election on Tuesday.
“Just to make sure that my voice gets heard,” she said.
During last November’s District 9 election, Republican Mark Harris edged out Democrat Dan McCready by nearly 900 votes.
Allegations of ballot fraud launched a months-long investigation by the NC State Board of Elections after political operative McCrae Dowless was accused of ballot tampering in Bladen County for Harris’ campaign. Dowless now faces felony charges.
Many residents in Bladen County say it is time for the seat to be filled.
“We need some representation because there are a lot of problems here in the county and state, we need somebody to speak up for us,” Kelly said.
Harris decided not to run again in the special election. Instead, Bishop ran as the Republican candidate against McCready.
“We got a chance to change this country and that’s why we’re here today,” McCready said.
Many political pundits are closely watching the final results of this special election to see if it could be an indication of the GOP’s slip of control in the state and a possible indicator of what the party could face leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
“A vote for any Democrat in 2020, a vote for any Democrat tomorrow in North Carolina is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” President Donald Trump told a crowd during a campaign rally for Bishop on Monday in Fayetteville.
“I certainly will go to Washington and work very aggressively to help President Trump,” Bishop said.
While the stakes are high, Bladen County voters tell WWAY they finally hope to get representation in Congress by having this seat filled.
“Being unrepresented just means anything could happen,” Hopkins said. “You’re kind of at the mercy of the bigger people instead of someone locally.”
“If you want your voice to be heard, you’ve got to come out here and put it on paper. represent your people and yourself,” Kelly added.