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Political notebook: 13th District candidate mistakenly touts Trump endorsement

By Josh Bergeron

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump didn’t in fact endorse a candidate in the 13th Congressional District.

When a presidential candidate endorses your candidacy for Congress, it’s big news. In the crowded field of 17 Republicans, Trump’s endorsement, if true, may have propelled a candidate to victory in the June 7 primary.

Calling it a “great honor,” Mooresville attorney George Rouco made an announcement on Twitter and in an email that he had received an endorsement from Trump.

The endorsement he cited, however, didn’t come from Trump. Instead, it came from a Twitter account dedicated to Trump fans in North Carolina called NC Team Trump. It’s not an official Trump account. The account released a “cheat sheet for Trump unity” that included Rouco. It also included Rep. Renee Ellmers, who received an actual Trump endorsement.

Iredell County Register of Deeds Matt McCall was quick to point out Rouco’s error on Twitter. McCall channeled his inner Trump, calling Rouco “lyin’ George.”

“McCall is full of it,” Rouco fired back in an email.

The pair of Republican candidates seemed to spar more than once during the course of the 13th District congressional race. McCall, however, performed better on election day. He received 2,859 votes and finished in fifth out of 17 candidates. Rouco finished 12th out of 17 with 768 total votes.

Davie County resident and gun shop owner Ted Budd won the 13th District race with 6,308 votes.

NC GOP already predicting 13th District winner

For political observers, the 13th District is seen as safely Republican in November’s general election, and the state’s Republican party tossed out its prediction shortly after Budd won his June 7 primary.

The party issued a prepared statement from Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse congratulating candidates on a “well-fought” primary election. The congratulatory remarks included a specific shout out to Budd.

“Finally, we congratulate businessman Ted Budd on running a strong race in a robust field of qualified Republican candidates,” Woodhouse said in the prepared statement. “After Tedd Budd wins in November and becomes the newly elected 13th District Representative, he will bring his knowledge and experience in running a small business to Congress. We look forward to joining forces with Ted in the 13th.”

McCrory announces two bills signed into law

In a news release this week, Gov. Pat McCrory announced that he had signed two bills into law. One establishes new requirements for companies that sell educational applications. The other applies to chemical analysis results used in court proceedings.

First up was House Bill 632, which started out as a study bill in the 2015-2016 legislative session.

By the time it got McCrory’s signature and became law this week, it outlined a number of provisions about student online privacy. Summing it up in a news release, McCrory’s office said the bill prohibits venders of third-party, online, educational applications for K-12 students from engaging in targeted advertising, renting or selling of information.

Next up was House bill 357, which was also introduced in 2015. It aims to clarify procedures about whether chemical analysis results are admissible in court. Under current law, failure to file a timely objection to the introduction of a chemical analysis affidavit equals a waive of rights to object. Under the newly signed law, the affidavit would be admitted into evidence without an analyst’s testimony in the same situation.

Both laws become effective on Oct. 1.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.



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