2014 North Carolina's 12th congressional district special election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

2014 North Carolina's 12th congressional district special election

← 2012 November 4, 2014 2014 →

North Carolina's 12th congressional district
  Alma Adams.jpg Vince Coakley 2.jpg
Nominee Alma Adams Vince Coakley
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 127,668 41,578
Percentage 75.4% 24.6%

U.S. Representative before election

Mel Watt

Elected U.S. Representative

Alma Adams

A special election for the United States House of Representatives in North Carolina's 12th congressional district was held on November 4, 2014, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of U.S. Rep. Mel Watt following his appointment to head the Federal Housing Administration.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory chose to hold the election concurrently with the regular 2014 general elections,[1] rather than hold a separate special election at an earlier date to fill the vacancy. Party primary elections for the seat would be held May 6. Primary runoffs, if needed, were scheduled for July 15 but proved unnecessary, because the only primary winner won more than 40 percent of the vote. According to politician Gerry Cohen, the primary was the first special primary election in North Carolina history, because in previous special elections, committees or conventions of party leaders selected their nominees.[2]

The winner of the special election would serve through the remaining months of the 113th Congress, while the winner of the regular general election being held the same day would serve in the 114th Congress.[3] This is essentially the same procedure used in North Carolina in 1992 to fill the vacancy in the First Congressional District (other than the addition of a primary election). Because Watt resigned in January and the winner of the special election was not seated until after the November election result is official, the district was without a representative for more than 11 months.


Democratic Congressman Mel Watt was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 10, 2013, to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.[4] He resigned from Congress on January 6, 2014, the day he took office as director of FHFA.[5]

Democratic primary[edit]





Poll source Date(s)
Margin of
Hamilton (D-Adams) February 28 – March 4, 2014 500 ± 4.4% 26% 9% 4% 19% 9% 3% 1% 29%


Democratic primary election results[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alma Adams 14,967 44.2
Democratic Malcolm Graham 7,495 22.1
Democratic George Battle III 4,431 13.1
Democratic Marcus Brandon 2,984 8.8
Democratic James "Smuggie" Mitchell, Jr. 2,034 6.0
Democratic Curtis C. Osborne 1,939 5.7
Total votes 33,850 100.0

Republican primary[edit]



  • Vince Coakley, former TV news anchor[11]


Vince Coakley
  • LibertyConservatives.com [12]

General election[edit]


North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2014 (special)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Alma Adams 127,668 75.43% -4.20%
Republican Vince Coakley 41,578 24.57% +4.20%
Total votes 169,246 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold


  1. ^ Morrill, Jim (December 9, 2013). "Watt's exit will leave scrambled race for Congress". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  2. ^ Charlotte Observer: Special House election for Watt seat to overlap regular schedule
  3. ^ WRAL.com
  4. ^ Ed O'Keefe and Paul Kane (December 10, 2013). "Senate confirms Patricia Millett, Mel Watt using new majority rules". Washington Post.
  5. ^ Charlotte Observer: Mel Watt to resign from Congress Jan. 6
  6. ^ a b c d e f Cahn, Emily. "Roll Call: Watt Confirmation Kicks Off North Carolina Special Election". Atr.rollcall.com. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  7. ^ Dunn, Nash (January 31, 2014). "Former Lexington resident announces for 12th District". The Dispatch. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Jen Wilson (April 15, 2014). "James Mitchell drops bid for congressional seat". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  9. ^ Cahn, Emily (January 6, 2014). "Election Scheduled to Replace Watt in North Carolina". Roll Call. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  10. ^ NC State Board of Elections website
  11. ^ Morrill, Jim (January 28, 2014). "Ex-anchor Vince Coakley enters congressional race". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  12. ^ http://blog.libertyconservatives.com/vince-coakley-interview-endorsement/
  13. ^ https://er.ncsbe.gov/?election_dt=11/04/2014&county_id=0&office=FED&contest=0