Trump 2020

Trump-backed Republican wins special congressional election in North Carolina: AP

FILE PHOTO: North Carolina Republican candidate Dan Bishop listens to U.S. President Donald Trump speak at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Dan Bishop won a special U.S. congressional election in North Carolina, the Associated Press said on Tuesday, saving a longtime stronghold for President Donald Trump’s party and turning back a strong Democratic challenge.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Bishop, a 55-year-old state senator for whom Trump campaigned, received 50.6 percent versus 48.8 percent for Democrat Dan McCready, a 36-year-old veteran of the Marines, the news agency said.

The 9th Congressional District, a suburban-rural area in North Carolina’s southeast, has sent Republicans to Congress since the 1960s and voted for Trump by about 12 percentage points in 2016. A special congressional election was ordered after last year’s voting was tainted by fraud.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Clarence Fernandez