Earlier this week, Governor Pat McCrory announced that the special election in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District will run concurrently with this year’s regular election – meaning that the seat that had been held by Mel Watt will remain vacant for more than 300 days.
Representatives G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) and David Price (NC-04) call the Governor’s decision “unacceptable and unprecedented” noting that it deprives the district’s residents of their constitutionally guaranteed right to representation.
The two Democratic Congressman have written to McCrory urging him to reconsider his decision and adopt a timeline that would cut the vacancy by several months.
The governor has said arranging a special primary, a likely runoff, and a general election for the 12th district seat could cost taxpayers in excess of $1 million.
Watt officially resigned from his congressional seat Monday to become the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.