Former head of far-right House Freedom Caucus retires one day before deadline to run for his seat

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    Meadows’ announcement comes one day before the state’s candidate filing deadline, so his potential successors have only until noon local time on Friday to decide whether to run for his seat. However, not everyone who wants to enter this race may be able to. Wake County Board of Elections member Gerry Cohen points out that state law prohibits candidates from running for multiple posts at once, and anyone who filed to seek a different office can no longer take their name off the ballot because the deadline to do so passed on Tuesday.

    The GOP primary will take place March 3, and there would be a May runoff if no one takes at least 30% of the vote. Whoever wins the Republican nomination for Meadows’ constituency, which includes Appalachian North Carolina in the western portion of the state, will be the heavy favorite to keep it red. The state’s new court-ordered map did move the 11th District a bit to the left from 63-34 Trump to 57-40 Trump, but it’s still a heavy lift for Democrats. However, Daily Kos Elections data shows that Republican Pat McCrory carried the seat by a modest 52-45 margin as he was very narrowly losing the 2016 gubernatorial race, so a strong Democratic nominee may be able to make things interesting.

    Redistricting also made this a considerably more compact seat. Asheville, which is one of the few pockets of Democratic strength left in western North Carolina, was awkwardly split under the old map between the 10th and 11th Districts, so much so that a Gerrymander 5K was held in 2017 by the League of Women Voters where runners jogged along the border between the two seats. (Jeremy Markovich wrote in Politico, “As a race, the Gerrymander 5K was unsatisfying. We had to run on the sidewalks; one poor woman nearly decapitated herself when she ran right into the guywire of a telephone pole.”) The new 11th District contains all of Asheville, but it’s still outweighed by the surrounding red counties.

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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