Congressional District 10: McHenry (R) vs. Brown (D)

Rating: Strong Republican

Voter Registration by Race: 82% White, 13% Black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Other

Voter Registration by Party: 36% Republican, 33% Democratic, 31% Unaffiliated

2016 Presidential Election Result: 61% Trump, 36% Clinton, 3% Other

CD-10 covers the southern portion of North Carolina’s Foothills, the region of transitional terrain between the Piedmont Plateau and the Appalachian Mountains. The district begins in the heavily populated exurbs west of Charlotte (Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston counties) and runs through the rural Foothills (Cleveland, Rutherford, and Polk counties) before ending in Asheville (Buncombe County). Other than Buncombe County, the district has an overwhelming Republican loyalty characteristic of the Foothills region – indeed, portions of Asheville were only included to dilute the city’s Democratic vote and ensure GOP representation in both CD-10 and the neighboring CD-11. Outside of Asheville, Democrats can only expect to perform well in the cities of Gastonia, Shelby, and Hickory, in addition to the historically Democratic rural areas of Cleveland and Polk counties where Republicans generally win elections but Democrats maintain a voter registration advantage. The district’s overall political dynamic makes for a Republican stronghold – no Democrat has won CD-10 in a statewide election since Roy Cooper’s reelection bid as Attorney General in 2008, and the district was Donald Trump’s second best in North Carolina in 2016.

2018 Candidates

Total Raised (2017-2018) Total Spent (2017-2018) Cash on Hand (June 2018)

Debts Owed (June 2018)

Patrick McHenry


$2,943,666.05 $2,606,680.61 $1,732,792.82


David Wilson Brown


$39,927.98 $36,445.92 $3,550.34



Patrick McHenry, a native of Gastonia currently living in Lincoln County, was first elected to represent CD-10 in 2004, succeeding the retiring Cass Ballenger in a district held by Republicans since 1969. A 33-year-old upon his initial election to Congress, McHenry was the chamber’s youngest member for two years, quickly developing a reputation as a staunch conservative. This reputation has served the incumbent well in his home district – McHenry has won each of his reelection bids with ease, most recently winning a seventh term in 2016 with 63% of the general election vote.

This year, McHenry easily won the district’s GOP nomination with over 70% against five opponents (an unusually large field), while the uncontested Democratic nomination was won by IT consultant David Wilson Brown. Brown, a resident of Gaston County, has developed a spirited grassroots campaign but struggled to raise funds, with less than four thousand in the bank as of June 2018. This contrasts sharply with McHenry, a prolific fundraiser who has raised almost three million this cycle and currently has a campaign war chest nearly five hundred times as large as Brown’s. Indeed, McHenry, has raised the most of any congressional candidate in North Carolina this cycle, indicative of broad popularity within his district and on Capitol Hill. In one of the most Republican districts in North Carolina, the popular, extremely well-heeled McHenry will have no trouble winning an eighth term.


Get the latest posts from PoliticsNC delivered right to your inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!