Rowan’s newest congressman to be sworn in today

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, January 3, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

WASHINGTON — After an unprecedented campaign, Ted Budd says he’s eager to get to work as North Carolina’s newest congressman.

Budd, a Republican businessman from Davie County’s Advance community, will be sworn in today as the state’s 13th Congressional District representative. First up, he’ll participate in a formal ceremony. At 3:15 p.m., Budd is scheduled to participate in an informal swearing in with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Once sworn in, Budd will be the newest addition to the state’s congressional delegation. In 2016, incumbents won North Carolina’s remaining 12 seats in Congress.

In a Monday interview, Budd said he had a “spirit of anticipation” about being sworn into office. Budd said he’s not nervous. He’s ready to get to work.

“We’ve got such great people that are on our team or around to help us,” he said. “I really look forward to getting started.”

Budd, a relative political unknown when he ran for Congress in 2016, owned and managed a gun shop in Rural Hall. He rode his outsider status through the primaries and to a victory in the general election.

When running for office, Budd listed national security, simplifying the tax code and reducing government regulation as the most important issues facing the 13th District.

In a special, June congressional election, Budd beat out 16 Republican candidates and nearly doubled the vote total of the second-place finisher. Among the candidates were several state legislators with years of experience. In November’s general elections, Budd received 56 percent of the vote and beat High Point businessman Bruce Davis to represent the 13th District, which stretches from Mooresville to Greensboro. It contains the City of Salisbury and much of western Rowan County.

When a court-ordered redistricting moved the boundaries away from Raleigh and into the Piedmont, George Holding was the 13th District’s representative. Instead of running for the redrawn 13th District in 2016, Holding decided to run closer to home. He won the 2nd Congressional District race.

After winning the election, Budd picked Todd Poole, the N.C. Republican Party’s former executive director and Rep. Richard Hudson’s former chief of staff, as his district director. Budd picked his campaign manager, Andrew Bell, to serve as his chief of staff. On Monday, Budd said he had completed the hiring process for all positions.

Since the election, Budd said he has also traveled to Washington, D.C. twice to complete introductory courses about being a congressman. Budd said he’s received advice from Hudson, a Republican who represents the state’s 8th Congressional District. The pair became friends long before Budd ran for Congress.

“We’ve had a pretty good relationship before and he’s been very helpful to talk to since the election,” Budd said.

On Monday, Budd said he will be joined by a large group of family members and friends as he is sworn into office.

Once sworn in, Budd said he will continue to have a role in his business. However, Budd said he won’t oversee daily operations.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246