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Cawthorn creates stir with plan to run for 13th Dist. seat
Wednesday, 01 December 2021 14:52

From Staff Reports


Dual announcements by U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore have rattled the Republican establishment of Mecklenburg County — “potentially the new stomping grounds of North Carolina’s most controversial politician (Cawthorn),” The Charlotte Observer reported Nov. 20.

“Cawthorn said about a week earlier that he would run for the newly created 13th Congressional District, a seat political observers had assumed Moore would seek,” the Observer noted. “Once Cawthorn announced his move, Moore promptly said he would stay in the state legislature.

“It also created an opening in Western North Carolina, where Democrats have been campaigning for months in hopes of unseating Cawthorn. One of them, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, has already raised more than $900,000.

“With Moore out of the race for the newly-drawn 13th District, which includes western and northern Mecklenburg County, Cawthorn has a significantly clearer opening,” the Observer stated.

The Charlotte Observer added, “Several Republican leaders in the county either declined to comment or did not return calls when asked about their opinions of Cawthorn.

“But some did speak publicly, and others raised concerns about whether Cawthorn truly understands suburban and urban conservatives.”

The Charlotte newspaper quoted Charles Jeter, a Republican former state representative and Huntersville town board member, as saying of Cawthorn:

“He’s a joke, and unfortunately as a resident of the 13th District I don’t want the joke to be on us. A lot of folks in the Republican Party recognize that, frankly, if Madison Cawthorn is the future of the Republican Party, then the Republican Party doesn’t have a future.”

Regarding Cawthorn, 26, the Observer then noted that he “quickly rose to national prominence after winning his congressional election in 2020. He has made a name for himself as an outspoken if not sometimes abrasive politician who says he is determined to shake up the status quo.

“But he’s also drawn the ire of some fellow Republicans. He spoke at the Jan. 6 rally before the storming of the Capitol, seemed to defend rioters there as ‘political prisoners’ and has supported the false claim that the 2020 election was rigged.”

The Observer also pointed out that former President Donald Trump endorsed Cawthorn in March, but has not publicly commented on his switch to the 13th District.

“Speaking about his decision to not run, Moore said that he was focused on solving North Carolina issues, particularly in passing a balanced budget,” the Observer reported. “He (Moore) did not respond to an email from the Observer asking whether Trump’s support of Cawthorn influenced his decision.”

What’s more, the Observer stated, “Larry Shaheen, a Charlotte attorney and Republican consultant, said Trump’s potential influence in the primary for the 13th District should concern voters.”

Shaheen was quoted by the Observer as saying,“‘The Republican Party of this state needs to decide whether it’s going to be run from Mar-a-Lago (Fla.) — or our local communities,’ he said, referring to Trump’s private Florida club. ‘Because right now it looks like it’s run from Mar-a-Lago — and I’m not good with that.’”



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