The Associated Press called the race for Meadows at 9:25 p.m. With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Meadows was ahead of Patterson 76 percent to 24 percent. Meadows, a businessman, now officially becomes an instrument in the North Carolina Republican Party's wider plan to wrestle control of the state's congressional delegation back from Democrats. Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler currently represents the 11th District, but he retired after GOP state legislators made the seat significantly more conservative in redistricting. Shuler's former chief of staff, Hayden Rogers is raising money well, but he's running one of the most Republican-leaning districts in the state, and Meadows starts the general election as a big favorite. [9:29 p.m.] Former state Sen. Robert Pittenger won the Republican congressional nomination in North Carolina's 9th District Tuesday night, defeating Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Pendergraph in a tight GOP runoff. Charlotte's News 14 reported that Pendergraph conceded to Pittenger around 9:15 p.m. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, PIttenger led 53 percent to 47 percent. Pittenger now becomes a heavy favorite in the general election. The promise of a safe seat contributed to an exceptionally nasty primary campaign. Pittenger cast Pendergraph as a flip-flopper at every opportunity, while Pendergraph struck back with accusations of ethics violations and felonies committed in the state Senate. The Charlotte Observer ultimately declined to endorse in the runoff, writing that the candidates had "done all they can to cement people's disgust for politics." With that behind him, though, Pittenger can begin to look forward to succeeding retiring GOP Rep. Sue Myrick in Congress next year.