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Primary surprises elevate N.C. as battleground

An election-night surprise in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional district, which covers part of the Charlotte region, might further raise the state’s profile as a battleground going into the general midterms this fall. Retired local pastor Mark Harris defeated incumbent Robert Pittenger in the Republican primary, while political newcomer and Marine Corps veteran Dan McCready sailed past Christian Cano in the Democratic contest for the same district. As noted by The Charlotte Observer, the turnout for McCready in a Republican-leaning area sets up a showdown in November — and that could be bad news for the GOP, according to The New York Times’ take on the results.

Meanwhile, history was made in the Democratic primaries for key roles in the criminal justice system, with Spencer Merriweather set to become the first African-American elected district attorney after cruising to a landslide win. (He is already serving as incumbent DA.) There are no Republicans on the November ballot for that office nor for county sheriff — that primary saw incumbent Irwin Carmichael ousted by former homicide detective and current TV star Garry McFadden, whose win could spell the end of the county’s participation in the controversial 287(g) screening program. McFadden’s victory also marks the first time Mecklenburg County has elected a black sheriff, according to WBTV.

Voters were kinder to incumbents in the races for county commission seats, but state lawmakers Joel Ford and Rodney Moore were both unseated by challengers.

Find the full slate of election results for North Carolina here.

In other news, the Charlotte Hornets are finalizing a deal to hire San Antonio Spurs assistant James Borrego as head coach, according to ESPN. The sports news network reports Borrego met with Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan over the weekend and will replace Steve Clifford, the former head coach who was dismissed last month. The local NBA franchise also has a new general manager in place, and while the Hornets failed to reach the playoffs this year, executives tell CBJ they are optimistic about the future.

And layoffs are once again looming in the Charlotte region, with the state’s latest update on Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filings providing new details on previously reported facility closures. At Schletter Inc. in Shelby, about 120 positions are being permanently eliminated as operations wind down at a plant that makes mounting systems for solar-power installations. As previously reported by CBJ, the company recently filed for bankruptcy protection while its German parent, Schletter Group, is undergoing a similar process in that country. Schletter says the reorganizations are, in part, because of a new U.S. tariff on foreign-made solar panels. And in Huntersville, SABIC Innovative Plastics is laying off 83 employees as it shutters an office there. It was noted last summer that the company would move those operations to Texas.

Mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 70s to mid-80s are in store for the rest of the week, although a slight chance of rain and showers could be in the mix tomorrow. Find the latest Charlotte weather forecast here.

 

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