N.C. state lawmaker who sponsored "bathroom bill" wins GOP primary in redo election

/ CBS/AP

A North Carolina state senator who sponsored the state's controversial anti-transgender "bathroom bill" has won the Republican primary for the 9th Congressional seat. The North Carolina Board of Elections in January called for a new election after a months-long investigation into alleged absentee ballot fraud.

Sen. Dan Bishop topped nine other GOP candidates seeking the 9th Congressional District nomination. The Charlotte attorney raised the most in campaign contributions, seeded with $250,000 from his personal accounts.

In 2016, he sponsored House Bill 2, the law that voided a Charlotte ordinance expanding LGBT rights and prevented similar anti-discrimination rules anywhere else in the state. HB2 was nicknamed the "bathroom bill" because it also directed transgender people to use public bathrooms and showers that matched their birth sex. The measure made waves nationally and prompted boycotts by entertainers, governments and some businesses thinking about moving jobs to North Carolina.

Trending News

Now, with his primary win, Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready in the Sept 10 general election. McCready was unopposed.

Dan Bishop answers a question during a debate among republican candidates for the 9th congressional district in Monroe, N.C., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The primary election is Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Chuck Burton / AP

The special primary and general elections were required after the state elections board in February determined last year's contest tainted when Republican Mark Harris used a political operative who collected mail-in ballots. Harris, who narrowly led after November's votes were counted, opted not to run again.

With conflict between President Trump and Washington Democrats heating up after the investigation into Russian support for the president's 2016 campaign, the 9th District race is expected to serve as a barometer of political tides.

Bishop thanked his supporters Tuesday night and accused Democrats of advocating ideas outside the mainstream.

"People are astonished and amazed and dismayed at what they see coming out of Washington these days from liberal crazy clowns. Socialism. Open borders. Infanticide. 90% tax rates. Having prison inmates vote. It goes on and on," Bishop said. "And of course, most of all, an incessant drive to impeach the president."

The election should draw a heavy infusion of political cash over the next four months, foreshadowed by spending in this primary. The political action committee for the anti-tax Club for Growth endorsed Bishop and spent more than $135,000 attacking top rivals Stony Rushing and Leigh Brown. The National Association of Realtors' PAC spent more than $1 million to benefit Brown.

McCready had almost $1.6 million in cash on hand as of May 2, according to Federal Election Commission reports, and after two years of campaigning has built up his name recognition. Despite that, he'll be swimming upstream in a congressional district that has been in GOP hands since 1963 and which Trump won by 12 percentage points in 2016.

A Bishop television ad during the primary focused on his support for Trump's border wall proposal and labeled Democrats "crazy liberal clowns."

Restaurant owner Julie Pressley, 47, of Indian Trail, stopped into her business Tuesday to check on preparations for Rushing's election-night party, then headed to the polls to vote for the candidate she said she's known since high school. Rushing and Pressley's husband serve together on the Union County commission, its executive board. Pressley said that's allowed her to know that Rushing recognizes he represents people who don't support him as much as those who do.

"We've seen what he stands for as far as the people, what's best for all the people, not just certain kinds. Whether it be rich people, poor people, whatever, he cares greatly," said Pressley, who shares Rushing's low-tax, anti-abortion values. "He's very concerned about everybody, whether they like him or not. He wants to do what's best for 'em."

Mitchell Eudy, 60, of Monroe, said he voted for Dan Bishop in part because he dislikes Rushing. A couple of friends who know Bishop recommended him, said Eudy, who sees the candidate as the most likely to beat McCready.

"I think he will have a broader appeal for the entire population of the 9th District," Eudy said.

The district stretches from suburban Charlotte to suburban Fayetteville along the South Carolina border.

The GOP's brand has suffered in the wake of the much-publicized investigation into Harris's campaign, followed last month by federal charges accusing the state party's chairman of working with a big-money donor to try bribing North Carolina's top insurance regulator.

"Folks actually do bring this up," candidate Matthrew Ridenhour, a former county commissioner from Charlotte, said during a debate last week. "What's going on with the GOP? What happened to your GOP chairman? What's going on there with these donors? Are you involved in that? Did you take any money from that donor? I did not. But that's a question that comes up often."

First published on May 14, 2019 / 10:38 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

North Carolina 9th District

These are the best — and worst — states in the U.S.

Is your state in the bottom or the top of the rankings? U.S. News & World Report's annual list has the answers

39M ago

Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban

The legislation is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973

updated 6M ago

Anthony Weiner leaves NYC halfway house

"It's good to be out," the former Democratic representative said Tuesday; "I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service. I'm glad this chapter of my life is behind me"

1H ago

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

The face ID ban will apply to San Francisco city departments, but not to personal, business or federal use

1H ago

Officer fatally shoots woman heard on video claiming she's pregnant

Police on Tuesday said Pamela Turner was not pregnant; family said she suffered from mental health issues

2H ago

N.C. lawmaker who sponsored "bathroom bill" wins GOP primary

North Carolina Board of Elections in January called for a new election after a months-long investigation into alleged absentee ballot fraud

23M ago

Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban

The legislation is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973

updated 6M ago

Anthony Weiner leaves NYC halfway house

"It's good to be out," the former Democratic representative said Tuesday; "I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service. I'm glad this chapter of my life is behind me"

1H ago

Beto O'Rourke regrets Vanity Fair campaign launch

O'Rourke said the cover reinforced "that perception of privilege" he believes has haunted his campaign

4H ago

Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams donating profits to fight abortion law

The directors' announcement fulfills the wish of Stacey Abrams: Don't pull your productions from Georgia

5H ago

China tariffs a big problem for small businesses in U.S.

Toy company owner asks: "Who is going to want to paint the eyeballs onto a Marvel action figure or Barbie doll here?"

4H ago

Sanders says war with Iran would be "many times worse than the Iraq War"

Sanders posted a live video in reaction to a report that the Trump administration is reviewing a plan that could send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East

5H ago

How Trump's trade war has hit these big-name stocks

Apple, Boeing, Intel, Tesla, Caterpillar and GM are among those that dropped since the president's May 5 tariff tweets

2H ago

Why Britain's hotels are going to the dogs

Want to take in the scenic English countryside with your four-legged friend by your side – and even share a table for "high tea"? That won't be a problem

6H ago

Saudi Arabia says its oil pipeline was hit by drones

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih Al-Falih vowed that production and export of Saudi oil wouldn't be interrupted

7H ago

Entertainment

Remembering Tim Conway

Comedian Tim Conway, best known for his role in "The Carol Burnett Show," has died. Conway also starred in "McHale's Navy" and voiced the role of Barnacle Boy for "Spongebob Squarepants." Lee Cowan takes a look back at his life.

3H ago 01:48

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream in May

Apr 26 36 photos

Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams donating profits to fight abortion law

The directors' announcement fulfills the wish of Stacey Abrams: Don't pull your productions from Georgia

5H ago

Met Gala 2019: Red carpet looks

See what all your favorite celebrities wore to fashion's biggest night

May 6 80 photos

How "Game of Thrones" made fans root for a monster

Some cynical fans saw it coming, but many were shocked by the latest plot twist

5H ago

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

The face ID ban will apply to San Francisco city departments, but not to personal, business or federal use

1H ago

U.S. says Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees

The National Labor Relations Board released its opinion on the controversial matter of Uber drivers' classification

6H ago

Disney gets control of Hulu in deal with Comcast

Entertainment giant, which also plans to launch Disney Plus in the fall, pushes deeper into streaming video

12H ago

WhatsApp flaw let hackers install spyware on cellphones

Signs point to Israeli company NSO, which works with governments, often to spy on human rights activists; spyware kicked in when people made or got calls

11H ago

San Francisco considers facial recognition ban

Civil liberty watchdogs argue the technology can be inaccurate

May 13

American says record-breaking dive "opening the door for science"

Victor Vescovo dove 35,853 feet beneath the waves in a submarine to the lowest part of the ocean in the Pacific's Mariana Trench

11H ago

NASA vows to make ambitious plan to return to the moon "a reality"

The newly announced Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, intends to land astronauts on the South Pole of the moon by 2024

13H ago

The moon is shrinking — and may be generating "moonquakes"

As the lunar interior ever-so-slowly contracts, "moonquakes" are produced, NASA data suggests.

15H ago

"The planet's on f***ing fire!" Bill Nye's climate rant goes viral

He's not the same kid-friendly "Science Guy" millennials grew up with

12H ago

American breaks record with deepest-ever sub dive, finds plastic

The diver's team found four new species and something else no other expedition has seen — pollution

May 13

These are the best — and worst — states in the U.S.

Is your state in the bottom or the top of the rankings? U.S. News & World Report's annual list has the answers

39M ago

Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban

The legislation is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973

updated 6M ago

Protesters rally as lawmakers consider ending religious vaccine exemptions

A measles outbreak in New York has taken place in Orthodox Jewish communities, where a pamphlet questioning vaccines has been circulating

4H ago

Philadelphia soda sales drop after tax on sugary drinks

Health groups say sweetened drinks pose real — and preventable — health risks, including tooth decay and diabetes

6H ago

Proposed law seeks to increase access to rape kits

Bipartisan bill would establish national standards of care for survivors of sexual assault and expand access to services, including the specialized nurses who administer rape examinations

7H ago

These are the best — and worst — states in the U.S.

Is your state in the bottom or the top of the rankings? U.S. News & World Report's annual list has the answers

39M ago

Steak 'n Shake CEO: No cherries on milkshakes could save $1M

One chief exec had a novel suggestion for cutting struggling restaurant chain's costs — investors weren't impressed

4H ago

China tariffs a big problem for small businesses in U.S.

Toy company owner asks: "Who is going to want to paint the eyeballs onto a Marvel action figure or Barbie doll here?"

4H ago

Audio reveals pilots confronting Boeing after deadly crashes

The audio details a tense meeting in November 2018, less than a month after the first 737 Max crashed

2H ago

How Trump's trade war has hit these big-name stocks

Apple, Boeing, Intel, Tesla, Caterpillar and GM are among those that dropped since the president's May 5 tariff tweets

2H ago

Anthony Weiner leaves NYC halfway house

"It's good to be out," the former Democratic representative said Tuesday; "I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service. I'm glad this chapter of my life is behind me"

1H ago

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

The face ID ban will apply to San Francisco city departments, but not to personal, business or federal use

1H ago

Officer fatally shoots woman heard on video claiming she's pregnant

Police on Tuesday said Pamela Turner was not pregnant; family said she suffered from mental health issues

2H ago

Poway synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty

John Earnest is charged with opening fire at the Chabad of Poway synagogue on April 27, killing one and injuring three

3H ago

Anthony Weiner out from halfway house

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner left a New York City halfway house on Tuesday after completing his prison sentence for illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl. Weiner, a once-rising star in the Democratic Party who served in Congress for nearly 12 years, had been living in the halfway house since February after serving most of his sentence at a prison in Massachusetts. He still faces three years of court supervision.

1H ago 00:30

Space

NASA wants to send first woman to the moon

NASA is gearing up to send American astronauts back to the moon by 2024, and it hopes to include a woman for the first time. The Trump administration has asked Congress to approve an additional $1.6 billion for NASA's budget. CBS News space consultant Bill Harwood joined CBSN to discuss the ambitious plans.

6H ago 04:35

NASA vows to make ambitious plan to return to the moon "a reality"

The newly announced Artemis program, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, intends to land astronauts on the South Pole of the moon by 2024

13H ago

Trump backs early moon landing with funding request

Trump administration asks Congress to kick-start NASA moon mission with $1.6 billion in additional 2020 funding

6H ago

Shrinking moon may be causing "moonquakes"

NASA says the moon is shrinking and it may be creating so-called "moonquakes." Scientists say the moon's interior is cooling and causing it to shrivel up like a raisin. The shrinking has caused ridges on the moon's surface called "thrust faults" — where one section of crust is pushed up over a neighboring part. Scientists now believe those faults are to blame for the tremors.

21H ago 00:44

Virgin Galactic announces new steps toward offering thrill rides to space

New Mexico officials have eagerly anticipated the arrival of space tourism by Virgin Galactic for more than a decade

May 10

Britain's royal great-grandchildren

Prince Harry's new baby Archie is the eighth great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

May 8 9 photos

Met Gala 2019: Red carpet looks

See what all your favorite celebrities wore to fashion's biggest night

May 6 80 photos

Dale Pike murder: Evidence photos in the case against Enrico Forti

In 1998, Dale Pike came to Miami to discuss a business deal with Enrico Forti — the next day he was dead, and Forti was the prime suspect

May 3 17 photos

Worst movie sequels since 2000, ranked

These are the lowest-rated sequels this century, according to Metacritic's rankings

Apr 30 51 photos

Private secrets shared via postcard

Since 2004, hundreds of thousands of anonymous contributors with something to get off their chest have sent postcards to the website PostSecret.com

Apr 28 32 photos

Popular

"Peach" organization targeting Jewish communities

Vaccination protesters gathered at the New York State Capitol Tuesday to fight a bill that would end religious exemptions. It came as the Rockland County Health Commissioner said the "Peach" organization's spread of misinformation is to blame for the ongoing outbreak. Dr. Jon LaPook joined CBSN to discuss how to tackle the spread of false information.

1H ago 08:24

Investors concerned about U.S.-China trade war

China raised tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to a similar move by the Trump administration. As a result, stocks plummeted on Wall Street. Scott Gamm, a market and business reporter for Yahoo Finance, joined CBSN to discuss.

2H ago 04:28

Gov. Steve Bullock joins 2020 race – full interview

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock won his seat as a Democrat in a deep red state. In an interview with CBS News' Ed O'Keefe, Bullock says "divisiveness" makes the U.S. our own worst enemy, and he lays out how he'd differ from President Trump on trade policy, national security and more.

2H ago 26:52

Anthony Weiner out from halfway house

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner left a New York City halfway house on Tuesday after completing his prison sentence for illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl. Weiner, a once-rising star in the Democratic Party who served in Congress for nearly 12 years, had been living in the halfway house since February after serving most of his sentence at a prison in Massachusetts. He still faces three years of court supervision.

1H ago 00:30

Rape victim couldn't have abortion under new Ohio law

An 11-year-old girl in Ohio was allegedly raped by a 26-year-old multiple times, leaving her pregnant, according to police reports. A state law passed in April, but not yet in effect, says that victims like her won't have a choice to have an abortion — they would have to carry and deliver their rapist's child. CBS News digital reporter Kate Smith joins CBSN to discuss her reporting.

1H ago 01:50