RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak prompted North Carolina on Friday to reschedule a Republican primary runoff for a congressional seat in the western part of the state.
State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell announced that she had moved back the primary runoff in the 11th Congressional District to June 23, from its original May date. Republicans Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn were the top two vote-getters in the March primary.
The U.S. House seat is being vacated by GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, who has been named as President Donald Trump’s next chief of staff. Meadows announced in December he wouldn’t seek reelection.
Brinson Bell consulted with state emergency management officials and the state GOP before making the decision to push back the runoff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, North Carolina health officials said that the state has 137 cases of people testing positive for COVID-19, an increase of about 40 from the previous day.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of victims recover.