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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- With less than a month before the primary, candidates looking to succeed former U.S. Rep. Mel Watt have been crisscrossing the 12th Congressional district talking to voters.

In all likelihood, the winner on the Democratic side will replace Watt in Washington because the district is heavily Democratic.

But first, the candidates have to go through a confusing election process to fill out the remainder of Watt's expiring two-year term and then to replace him for a full two-year term beginning in 2015.

Watt resigned in January to become director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory could have held a separate special election to fill Watt's seat. Instead, voters will select the candidates for Watt's unexpired seat and the general election on the same day.

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