The former U.S. Attorney who brought the failed prosecution of John Edwards for campaign finance violations has won a seat in the House of Representatives from North Carolina.
George Holding secured a solid victory Tuesday night, winning 57 percent (225,000 votes) of the vote over Democratic opponent Charles Malone’s 43 percent (169,246 votes), according to CNN.
Holding, who served on the staff of the late Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and was appointed U.S. Attorney in 2004 by George W. Bush, won in the redrawn 13th district with help from a Super Pac funded by members of Holding’s wealthy banking family. The new heavily Republican district is a puzzle-piece shape scooping in rural areas between Raleigh, Rocky Mount and Goldsboro.
“Just because the election is over doesn’t mean any problems have been solved,” Holding said Tuesday night, according to the Raleigh News-Observer. “I’m looking forward to going to Washington to preach the same message I have been for the past 16 months, which is to tackle the debt and start creating jobs.”
Holding won a bitter primary fight against former Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble. Coble, a nephew of the late Sen. Helms, criticized Holding’s record as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Coble said there was “no question” the criminal charges Holding secured against Edwards, the former Democratic vice presidential nominee and North Carolina senator, were done to boost Holding’s political profile.
The charges against Edwards – who was accused of accepting illegal contributions to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter and the child it produced — were widely condemned as overreach. A federal jury in North Carolina in May acquitted Edwards of one of six counts, and deadlocked on the others. A judge declared a mistrial, and the Justice Department then dropped the prosecution.
The ranks of former U.S. Attorneys in Congress now includes Holding as well as a former Indiana U.S. Attorney, Susan Brooks, a Republican who won her race in Indiana’s 5th District.. She fills the seat left vacant by retiring Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.).