ROCKINGHAM — Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, went to bed Nov. 8 still the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District after Democratic challenger Christian Cano was unable to unseat him.
“I’m honored,” Pittenger said on election night. “I’m committed to the job options…(in) the whole district. Anytime the good folks of (the district) want to call our office, we’ll be very responsive.”
Pittenger used an overwhelming majority vote in the southeast portion of Mecklenburg County — an area he was familiar with — as well as Union and Richmond counties to win the district that also includes Anson, Scotland, Robeson, southern Cumberland and western Bladen counties.
Pittenger had been running on a platform of strengthening the economy and bringing back jobs to the counties he represents and said the biggest need for people in the 9th District is job creation. He intends to create an environment to let businesses — especially small businesses — grow.
“They’re out of the loop. We want to bring them in. Capital is the biggest obstacle in the market today,” he said.
State Republican lawmakers rolled out a map in mid-February that pulled Richmond, Anson and Scotland counties — along with Robeson — out of Rep. Richard Hudson’s 8th District and placed them in the 9th District, represented by Pittenger.
The redrawing was in response to a federal court’s ruling by a three-judge panel earlier this year that two North Carolina congressional districts, the 1st and 12th, were gerrymandered based on race.
Pittenger defeated Todd Johnson and Mark Harris in the 9th district U.S. House of Representatives primaries this past spring.
The incumbent Congressman took Mecklenburg, Union, Richmond, Cumberland and Bladen counties, while Cano secured Anson, Scotland and Robeson in the loss.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.