Trump jumps into N. Carolina special election, ties Democrat to 'the squad'

The 2018 contest for the congressional seat was tossed out amid voter fraud allegations.
President Trump Holds Campaign Rally
State Sen. Dan Bishop, a Republican from North Carolina, speaks during a rally with President Donald Trump in Greenville, N.C., on July 17, 2019.Madeline Gray / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

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By Jane C. Timm

President Donald Trump says he will rally in North Carolina in support of Republican Dan Bishop, who is running for Congress in a special election after voter fraud allegations tainted a 2018 race in the state’s 9th District.

“Looking forward to soon being in North Carolina to hold a big rally for wonderful Dan Bishop, who is running for Congress," Trump wrote in a tweet Thursday night before attacking Bishop's Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, without naming him directly. "His opponent wants Open Borders, Sanctuary Cities, and Socialism. He likes the 'Squad' more than North Carolina. Dan has my Full and Complete Endorsement!”

Trump didn’t announce a date or time for the rally, but it won’t be the first time he appears with the North Carolina Republican candidate; Bishop, a state senator, spoke briefly at a Trump rally last month.

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And as pundits point to the race as an early indicator of the 2020 election cycle, Trump seems keen on deploying his own re-election strategy: tying Democrats to its most progressive fringes, particularly the young, female liberal lawmakers known as "the squad."

Bishop is running against McCready, a Marine Corps veteran who lost a race for the seat last year against another Republican, Mark Harris. That election result was thrown out earlier this year amid allegations of absentee voter fraud against Harris’ campaign. Harris declined to run again and Bishop won a spring primary for the race.

While political pollsters have yet to give the race much attention, recent internal polling from the McCready campaign showed the candidates in a tie among likely voters in the special election Sept. 10.

Already, national politics have dogged this closely watched race: McCready returned a $2,000 donation from the campaign of squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., this spring, amid controversy over her remarks about Israel.

McCready responded to Trump's tweet with a call for donations.

“Look, we expected these attacks, but we cannot let them go unanswered,” he wrote in a tweet.