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In 13th District race, Davie business owner says he’s different than most in DC

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — People frequently complain about government, but not many make the choice to run for political office, says 13th District candidate Ted Budd.

Budd, 44, lives in Advance and owns a shooting range in Rural Hall, a town in Forsyth County. He’s one of the 17 Republicans running for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District and said he’s different than most politicians and members of Congress.

“Most of my passion and most of my training surrounds business, and it just seems like we need someone other than a person who goes there for a career and that’s not my intention,” he said.

Before purchasing the shooting range several years ago, Budd worked for his family’s facility services business — The Budd Group — and helped expand a landscaping products company.

When asked about issues he feels are most important, Budd started by mentioning Americans’ right to own a firearm.

“Because of what I do for a living every day, obviously the second amendment is going to be extremely important,” he said. “If you want to dig deeper, I’m a conservative as a point of principle and that’s going to play out in the way I look at the second amendment, the Constitution, how I look at right to life and the pro-life movement. Those are things I’m going to support — not issue by issue but as a result of being conservative at the core.”

He described the second amendment as one of the “checks and balances” that Americans have against government.

“I feel it is a check and balance in the system, in the Constitution, that was explicitly written in the Bill of Rights,” he said. “It protects freedoms of expression. It tells governments ‘please don’t encroach on the rights of the people.'”

In an interview with the Salisbury Post, Budd spoke extensively about the importance of “right sizing government” in order to boost the economy. He said that process begins by eliminating America’s budget deficit and eliminating all of the nation’s debt.

“If we burn down this house, it hurts all of us,” he said. “We have to reign things in with a different type of thinking.”

Adequately cutting government expenditures would rely on cutting fraud and abuse, he said. Elected officials should also eliminate “government duplication,” which he described as when two departments do identical things. He mentioned the Department of Education as an example. He said the Environmental Protection Agency is necessary, but over-regulates business.

“They are preventing expansion in a way that would have otherwise not have hurt the environment,” he said.

When asked about national security, Budd said it’s a “constitutional mandate” that America protects its citizens from “extremist Islam.”

Continuing, he said there’s two principles America needs to think about when considering national security. The first principle Budd mentioned is protecting America’s sovereignty. The second was “protecting the dignity of a God-given person.”

On immigration, Budd said he doesn’t support giving citizenship to Americans who entered the country illegally. He said all immigrants should enter the country legally.

“We can’t wave a magic wand and just say ‘forget the whole thing,'” he said.

Budd said there’s a number of good policy proposals that have been offered to deal with immigration-related issues, but didn’t specifically mention one that he prefers.

When asked why voters should choose him over the other 16 Republican candidates, Budd said it’s up to voters determine who’s the best candidate.

“I am presenting myself as one of the options among the 17,” he said. “I want to say this is what I stand for. My background is very different than the perennial candidates or the career politicians and I’m not running to begin a career either.”

The primary election in Congressional primaries is June 7.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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