Just in Time for Christmas, Robert Pittenger Primary Ads Get Religious
North Carolina Republican facing repeat challenge from former pastor

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger, speaking to reporters in the Capitol earlier this month, is launching a TV ad campaign running through Christmas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Facing a primary challenge from the same GOP candidate who nearly defeated him last year, North Carolina Republican Robert Pittenger is launching an ad campaign about “putting Christ back in Christmas.”

“Let’s end political correctness and put the true meaning of Christ back into Christmas,” Pittenger says in the ad, standing in front of a fireplace and Christmas tree as a holiday jingle plays in the background. 

Pittenger Draws Democratic Challenger in North Carolina
Marine veteran and businessman is first-time candidate in 9th District

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is a DCCC target in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The road through North Carolina doesn’t look easy for House Democrats, but the party is targeting four seats (all of which President Donald Trump won by at least 9 points) in their effort to expand the 2018 battlefield.

Democrats have talked up their efforts to land veterans and businesspeople in red districts this year. Now they’re getting a candidate that checks both of those boxes in North Carolina’s 9th District. 

Pittenger Wins Recount in North Carolina's 9th District
Challenger conceded Monday after picking up just two more votes

North Carolina's Robert Pittenger won a recount to secure the GOP nomination in the 9th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger won a recount in the GOP primary for North Carolina's 9th District Monday.  

Charlotte pastor Mark Harris picked up two votes in the recount, but he conceded the race.   

Pittenger Appears to Squeak By in N.C. GOP Primary
Republican House incumbent leads Mark Harris by 1 point, recount possible

Rep. Robert Pittenger had a narrow primary lead in a reconfigured 9th District that is largely new to him. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger chalked up a narrow lead Tuesday night in a reconfigured 9th District that is largely new to him .    

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Pittenger led Charlotte pastor Mark Harris 35 to 34 percent. Ex-Union County Commissioner Todd Johnson was in third place with 31 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press. Pittenger led Harris by 142 votes, according to the State Board of Elections. Harris did not concede Tuesday night. “We kind of owe it to the district to do a recount,” said Harris campaign manager Mike Knoop.   

Trump Backers Endorse North Carolina Incumbent
Rep. Robert Pittenger faces a competitive GOP primary on Tuesday

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is running for a third term in the state's 9th District Republican primary on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Supporters of Donald Trump in North Carolina endorsed a Republican congressional candidate Monday, throwing their backing behind North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger.   

Pittenger was initially a supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio's candidacy. However, Trump won the North Carolina Republican primary in March, and the presumptive GOP nominee remains popular in the state.