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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Two years ago, Republican David Rouzer lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre by just 654 votes -- a razor-thin margin among the nearly 337,000 ballots cast.

With McIntyre announcing his retirement after nine terms representing North Carolina's 7th Congressional district, Rouzer is back on the ballot with hopes of reversing his 2012 disappointment. Opposing him in the May 6 Republican primary are New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White and retired Army Command Sergeant Major Chris Andrade.

On the Democratic side, New Hanover Commissioner Jonathan Barfield and retired Smithfield police officer Walter A. Martin, Jr., are running to succeed McIntyre. Wilmington lawyer Wesley Casteen is running as a Libertarian.

National Republican leaders see the district as a prime opportunity to extend the party's majority in the U.S. House.

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