Watt’s Appointment Will Trigger 4th House Special Election This Year

President Barack Obama announces his nominee for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in the State Dinning of the White House in Washington.
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
Sarah Mimms
May 1, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

North Car­o­lina voters can be­gin gear­ing up for a spe­cial elec­tion with Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment that Pres­id­ent Obama will nom­in­ate Demo­crat­ic Rep. Melvin Watt to head the Fed­er­al Hous­ing Fin­ance Agency.

Un­der North Car­o­lina state law, Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Pat Mc­Crory will set the dates for a spe­cial primary and gen­er­al elec­tion. News of Watt’s ap­point­ment fol­lows Obama’s nom­in­a­tion of Char­lotte May­or An­thony Foxx, an­oth­er Demo­crat from Watt’s dis­trict, for Trans­port­a­tion sec­ret­ary. Foxx had already an­nounced that he would not seek an­oth­er term.

The House seat will be an easy hold for Demo­crats. Obama has won the dis­trict with more than 78 per­cent of the vote in the last two cycles, and Watt re­ceived al­most 80 per­cent of the vote last year.

The 11-term con­gress­man was on the list of po­ten­tial re­tire­ments this year, giv­en his poor fun­drais­ing num­bers in the first quarter. Watt turned in one of the low­est totals for a mem­ber of Con­gress in March, re­port­ing just $1,000 raised in the first three months of the year and $92,000 on hand.

Watt’s va­cancy will trig­ger the fourth spe­cial elec­tion in the House this cycle, fol­low­ing the resig­na­tions of Reps. Jesse Jack­son Jr., D-Ill., and Jo Ann Emer­son, R-Mo., as well as the ap­point­ment of Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., to the up­per cham­ber.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.