10:51pm update: Bishop did it! New post here with results, more info.

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10:30pm update: The AP has called it for Bishop! New post coming soon. Stay tuned!

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9:45pm update: This one is going down to the wire. Republican Bishop currently leads McCready by about 2500 votes with 170 of 210 precincts reporting. But it looks like full results from Democratic Mecklenburg County, a portion of which is in NC09, won’t be in until later tonight.

Republican Greg Murphy has won the District 3 race handily, as expected.

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It was special election day in North Carolina today, and at 7:30 pm Eastern time the polls closed and the vote counting began in both the 3rd and 9th Congressional districts.

A special election had to be held in 3rd district due to the February 10 passing of Rep. Walter Jones (R). Republican State Rep. Greg Murphy is expected to easily win that election.

The special election in the 9th district was called due to credible allegations of absentee ballot election fraud against Leslie McCrae Dowless, who has been indicted on multiple charges stemming from illegal “ballot harvesting” efforts that state elections officials say gave Republican candidate Mark Harris an advantage in the race over Democrat Dan McCready.

McCready, a former Marine and a veteran of the Iraq war, has effectively been running for the seat for over two years.

Harris, who denied any knowledge of Dowless’s actions, declined to run again for the seat. Republican State Senator Dan Bishop won the May primary to run against McCready, which set up the match-up we’ll see play out tonight.

The 9th district has been in Republican hands since the mid 60s, but Democrats believe the fact that it has been so competitive for the last two years is a sign that voter attitudes towards President Trump in the district are shifting in their favor.

McCready has run as a moderate and (to my knowledge) has not had any high profile national Democrats campaigning for him in the state, though Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are two presidential candidates who have endorsed him.

President Trump and Vice President Pence were in the state yesterday doing some last minute campaigning on behalf of Bishop.

Regardless of who wins tonight in what’s being billed as a bellwether election for 2020, here’s something important to remember: This race is the last undecided race of the 2018 election cycle. Whoever wins it will have to turn around in a few months and begin campaigning again for the seat for the 2020 election cycle:

Crazy. But that’s North Carolina politics for you.

You can view the election results for both races as they come in by clicking here or here.

Related:

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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –