Indiana and North Carolina: Congressional primaries are taking place too

In addition to the presidential primaries taking place today, there are also a number of congressional contests occurring in Indiana and North Carolina. The highest-profile primary race may be in Indiana’s 7th district, where recently-elected Rep. Andre Carson will battle for a slot on the November general election ballot. In March, Carson won a special election to serve the remaining term of his grandmother, Julia Carson, who passed away last year.

However, while party rules let the Democrats send Andre Carson to a special election without a primary, several other party members are seeking the nomination for the general election. They include Woodrow “Woody” Myers and state Reps. David Orentlicher and Carolene Mays.

Another twist: as a superdelegate, Andre Carson has endorsed Barack Obama in his presidential bid, and the senator from Illinois reciprocated.

John McCain has wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination (should somebody tell Ron Paul’s supporters - or maybe the Paul campaign itself?) but that doesn’t mean Indiana Republicans won’t have any decisions to make. In the 5th CD, longtime incumbent Dan Burton is fending off his first serious primary challenger, John McGoff. According to this CQ Politics article, the Indianapolis Star has been fueling McGoff’s candidacy with editorials lambasting Burton’s “excessive use of ‘franked’ congressional mail.”

Over in North Carolina, another GOP stalwart has been threatened with a primary challenge. Rep. Walter Jones, who has represented the state’s 3rd congressional district for 14 years, is running against newcomer Joe McLaughlin. Due to voting rules there, independents can vote in either the Democratic or Republican congressional primaries, so the expected heavy turnout might have unintended consequences in those usually partisan contests.

For more information on all of these candidates and for the other races in each state, check out our North Carolina and Indiana portal pages. We’ll keep those state portals updated as the results come in (and you’re more than welcome to help out – this is a wiki after all), so stay tuned to Congresspedia for the latest.