Round 3: Bradford and Clark face off again in toss up NC House district

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A state district congressional race could have a big impact on the political landscape in North Carolina.

Right now, Republicans in North Carolina have a majority in both the House and Senate. It’s likely that’ll remain the same after the fall election.

The Republicans don’t have a supermajority and if they gain that two-thirds majority, they’ll be able to override any bill vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper. The party will look to grab firm control of state government by winning 30 seats in the senate and 72 in the house.

One of the races that could shift the balance of power is in District 98. Voters from Davidson, Cornelius and parts of Huntersville will select between incumbent Rep. John Bradford, a Republican, and Democrat challenger Christy Clark.

The candidates know each other well. They’ve faced off in two previous elections, with each candidate winning one round.

Clark won the district in 2018 by 1% with just 415 votes before Bradford took the seat in 2020 by 3.3%.

In the 2020 election, voters in the district went purple, electing Democrats in President Joe Biden by 2.5% and Gov. Cooper by 5%, while also electing Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson by 4%.

The boundaries have shifted slightly ahead of the fall 2022 election, and the stakes have never been higher.

The Political Beat’s Joe Bruno spoke with both candidates about what’s at stake and where they stand on pivotal issues including abortion, Medicaid expansion and sports betting.

As one of the remaining toss-up districts, both candidates say they feel the eyes of the state watching their race.

“You know, when people talk about maintaining Gov. Cooper’s veto, and they kind of point out to like, ‘Hey, there’s these three races and ours is one of them,’ it puts us on the spotlight, but also it fuels us and drives us too, because we know how important it is,” Clark said.

“What’s really interesting is in Mecklenburg County, there’s 17 legislators between the House and the Senate, there’s 17,” Bradford said. “I don’t think most people realize that of those 17, right now, 16 of them are Democrats, and I’m the only Republican. So there’s always incoming grenades at me, because it’s the one seat that they that they don’t have. The Democrats want, that they want to flip.”

>>> In the video at the top of this page, watch Channel 9 reporter Joe Bruno’s full interview with the candidates.

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