Howard Coble Endorses Successor in North Carolina

Coble has endorsed a candidate to replace him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retiring North Carolina Rep. Howard Coble has endorsed Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. as his successor, touting the candidate's experience and conservative credentials.  

In last week's primary, Berger and Baptist Pastor Mark Walker advanced to a July 15 runoff from a nine-candidate GOP field running to replace the longtime Republican lawmaker in the 6th District.  

“It’s clear to me that Phil Berger is the right conservative for the job," Coble, 83, said in a statement. "He has the experience, knowledge and determination to hit the ground running in Washington." Berger finished first in the May 6 primary with 34 percent of the vote , short of the 40-percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Walker took 25 percent of the vote.  

The runoff winner will face former University of North Carolina administrator Laura Fjeld, a Democrat, in the general. Mitt Romney carried the district in 2012 with 58 percent of the vote.  

The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.