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Political notebook: Candidates flock to file for 13th Congressional District

Without an incumbent running for re-election, a stampede of people filed for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.

When filing closed on Friday, a total of 17 Republicans and four Democrats had filed to run for the 13th Congressional District, which includes parts of Rowan, Iredell and Guilford counties. The district includes all of Davie and Davidson counties. The 13th District was shifted to the Piedmont this year during a court-ordered congressional redistricting. At least two people from each county in the district have filed for Congress.

Rep. George Holding, a Republican, currently holds the 13th District seat. Because of the redistricting, Holding no longer lives in his district. As a result, he has decided to challenge Rep. Renee Ellmers for the 2nd District.

When drawing new congressional districts, state officials also chose not to schedule a runoff election. So, whoever receives the greatest percentage of the vote in the June 7 primary election will advance to the general election. A candidate that receives 10 percent of the vote and leads the field of 17 Republicans would advance to November’s general election.

The field of Republicans running for the 13th District includes four current members of the state legislature — Sen. Andrew Brock, a Republican from Davie County, and Reps. John Blust, a Republican from Guilford County; Julia Howard, a Republican from Davie County; and Harry Warren, a Republican from Rowan.

State legislators this year are allowed to seek election to Congress during the party primary. If a state legislator wins a congressional primary, he or she must choose whether to continue their bid for Congress in the general election or stick with the legislature.

Jason Walser may be another Republican name familiar to Rowan voters. Walser served as the Central North Carolina LandTrust executive director for a number of years. The organization is headquartered in Salisbury.

Other Republican candidates who have filed for the 13th Congressional District include: Chad Gant, Dan Barrett, David Thompson, Farren Shoaf, George Rouco, Hank Henning, Jim Snyder, Kathy Feather, Matthew McCall, Kay Daly, Ted Budd and Vernon Robinson.

Democratic candidates include: Adam Coker, Bob Isner, Bruce Davis, Kevin Griffin and Mazie Ferguson.

Not as many file for 8th District

In the 8th Congressional District, which includes much of south and east Rowan County, three people had filed to run by Friday’s deadline.

The three candidates include: two-term incumbent Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord; Thomas Mills, a Democrat from Carrboro; and Tim D’Annunzio, a Republican from Hoke County.

The 8th Congressional District is the only one that remained in Rowan County during the recent redistricting. Both the 5th, represented by Virginia Foxx, and the 12th, represented by Alma Adams, were moved out of Rowan. All Rowan residents who previously lived in the 8th District will live in the 8th District under the newly redrawn maps.

Trump, Cruz trail Democrats in latest poll

A survey released this week by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling found North Carolina voters favor Democrats for president rather than businessman Donald Trump or U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

The poll found Clinton leading Trump 44 percent to 42 percent. Sanders has a 48 percent to 41 percent advantage over Trump.

Clinton and Sanders each lead Cruz by 45 percent to 42 percent spreads.

The poll was the Raleigh-based group’s first for the November general election. The group surveyed 843 registered voters from March 18 to 20. The poll’s of error is 3.4 percent.

North Carolina petitions federal government to change lead reporting requirement

President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget includes funding for a nearby national forest.

Obama’s budget proposal includes an estimated $360,000 for the Uwharrie National Forest, which is located in Montgomery, Davidson and Randolph counties.

The investment comes from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 50-year-old state-federal partnership that works to protect America’s irreplaceable natural, historic, cultural and recreational outdoor places.

Obama’s budget also includes $1.85 million for the Pisgah National Forest, located in Western North Carolina.

In response to both forests being included in Obama’s budget, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Trustee Jay Leutze said: “All of our new neighbors need clean drinking water and places to retreat from the bustle of our teeming cities. We’re excited that the President’s budget reflects the growing need for additional places for Americans to fish and hunt and hike. Land conservation offers the best chance we have to hang on to our national — and natural — heritage.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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