Butterfield, Price to McCrory: 300 day delay of NC-12 Special Election ‘Unacceptable and Unprecedented'

Jan 10, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC– Representatives G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) and David Price (NC-04) have written North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory urging him to reconsider his decision to delay the special election for the 12th Congressional District for more than 300 days and to adopt an alternative timeline to cut the period of vacancy by several months.  The Representatives write that the Governor’s decision is unacceptable and unprecedented, and that it deprives the district’s residents of their constitutionally guaranteed right of representation.  They called the Governor’s rationale for delaying the special election (cost and logistical concerns) “unconvincing.”


The full text of the representatives’ letter is below.


January 9, 2014


The Honorable Pat McCrory


Office of the Governor

20301 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-0301


Dear Governor McCrory:


We are writing to encourage you to reconsider your decision to delay until November the special election for our state’s 12th Congressional District.  We are confident that an alternative timeline could cut the vacancy period by several months.  The successive elections could readily be scheduled in ways that maximize their coincidence with already-scheduled elections and minimize the added cost.

As you know, more than 700,000 North Carolinians live in the 12th Congressional District.  Under your announced timetable, they will go without voting representation for more than 300 days.  Such a delay is unacceptable; indeed, it is unprecedented in recent congressional history. Of the seven other vacancies in the 113th Congress, six were filled in an average of 126 days. The general election to fill the seventh is scheduled to take place 145 days after our colleague Bill Young’s unexpected passing.

The rationale you have offered, that it is both too costly and logistically impossible to hold the special election before November, is not convincing.  The 2013 filing period is fully 30 days away; not a single primary ballot has yet been printed for any precinct in the state.  The assumption that North Carolina is better served by having one less advocate in the House for nearly a full year than by finding a cost-effective way to minimize the vacancy is seriously misguided.  The fact that your decision requires so many of our state’s citizen’s to forgo their constitutionally guaranteed right of representation for twice as long as common practice is indefensible.

We urge you to ensure that all North Carolinians have voting representation in Congress.  All of our people deserve a voice in future of our country, especially as the House of Representatives considers legislation affecting their lives and livelihoods.



DAVID PRICE                                                                                                                     

Member of Congress



Member of Congress