A US Republican politician who aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump has won a special US congressional election in North Carolina, giving Trump a victory, although a narrow one.
Republican Dan Bishop defeated Democrat Dan McCready in Tuesday’s special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, winning a seat in the US House of Representatives.
North Carolina’s House election was scrapped last year after allegations of ballot tampering by a Republican political consultant.
Both parties poured millions of dollars into the election do-over, with the final contest of the 2018 congressional midterms being watched for signs of their prospects in 2020.
Bishop, a 55-year-old state senator for whom Trump campaigned, became known in the US for sponsoring a 2016 measure in the state legislature restricting public restroom access for transgender people.
Trump, who flew to the district on Monday night to rally the Republican base for Bishop, moved immediately to take credit.
“Dan Bishop was down 17 points 3 weeks ago. He then asked me for help, we changed his strategy together, and he ran a great race,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Republicans hope the victory will help the party gain more seats in the House after Democrats won 40 seats and overall control in House elections last November.
Representative Cheri Bustos, the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Democrats had fallen “an inch” short but that Republicans had required millions in spending and a Trump rally just to “scrape by.”
“Tonight’s razor-thin result in this ruby-red district solidifies the fact that Democrats are pushing further into Republican strongholds and are in a commanding position to protect and expand our House Majority in 2020,” she said.