Real estate investor Mark Meadows, the apparent frontrunner in the crowded GOP primary in North Carolina's open 11th district, picked up the endorsement of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) today.
“Mark Meadows will fight for what’s right, because he understands that higher taxes and more regulations are not the way to solve our country’s problems,” Duncan said in a statement released by the Meadows campaign. “Conservatives of Western North Carolina should send Mark Meadows to Congress. We need his help.”
Duncan's spokesman confirmed the endorsement. Duncan, along with Reps. Tim Scott, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney, make up a group of strongly conservative freshman Republicans from the Palmetto State.
His endorsement would appear to boost Meadows' conservative bona fides.
In the May 8 primary, Meadows faces businessman Ethan Wingfield, local District Attorney Jeff Hunt, retired Army officer Spence Campbell, businessman Vance Patterson, economic consultant Chris Petrella, 2010 candidate Kenny West and Susan Harris, who ran as a Democrat for Senate in 2010.
The candidate with the most votes — if the candidate gets more than 40 percent of ballots cast — becomes the nominee. If no candidate gets more than 40 percent, the top two contenders face a runoff July 17.
The GOP nominee will probably face Hayden Rogers, who is the likely Democratic nominee for the western North Carolina district. Rogers is retiring Rep. Heath Shuler's (D) former chief of staff and is running to succeed his old boss.
Redistricting, controlled by Tar Heel State Republicans, shifted the 11th to be most Republican district in the state.
Roll Call rates the race as Likely Republican.