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Posted at 5:55 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2013
After more than seven months of delays, a special election for North Carolina’s 12th District will begin in earnest now that the Senate confirmed Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday.
Watt’s departure from the district will kick off a frenzy among Tar Heel State Democrats looking to succeed him in the safe Democratic seat he has held for two decades.
The special election will probably take place on previously scheduled election dates, according to a source familiar with North Carolina election law. That would mean a primary in February, with a runoff on May 6 — the same day as the previously scheduled midterm election primaries in North Carolina. The special election could then be held July 15 — the same day as the regularly scheduled runoff date for 2014 elections.
So far, at least seven Democrats filed federal paperwork to run for the safe Democratic seat:
An eighth Democrat, former Charlotte City Council member and failed Charlotte mayoral candidate James “Smuggie” Mitchell, also announced a bid, according to the Charlotte Observer.
President Barack Obama carried the district with 79 percent in 2012.
North Carolina’s 12th District is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.