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Greensboro philanthropist to run for Congress

Greensboro businesswoman and community activist Kathy Manning says she is running for Congress to represent North Carolina’s 13th District.

The seat is currently held by Republican Ted Budd. The district includes Davie and Davidson counties and parts of Rowan, Iredell and Guilford counties.

Manning’s announcement came early Wednesday morning. This is her first attempt for public office, though she said she has been active in her community for decades.

Manning said she was inspired to run because Congress is not focusing on the right issues.

“Politicians … are too busy fighting with each other to get anything done,” she said. “They’re serving special interests instead of our community’s interest.”

At a national level, Manning was the first woman to chair the Jewish Federations of North America. Locally, she chaired the Greensboro Jewish Federation and has served on the board of several charitable and arts-related organizations.

Currently, she is chairing the development committee in charge of building Greensboro’s Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.

The development is a public-private partnership, she said. No money for the project is coming from general tax revenue but from user fees and from $40 million in private donations raised in a funding campaign that Manning spearheaded.

Manning said she has a passion for and knowledge of economic development. Personal and family experience has given her an understanding of issues such as immigration and health care reform, she said.

Manning earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a law degree from the University of Michigan. As a lawyer, Manning said, she has worked to bring people into the country legally and in ways that support the economy.

“We need to enforce the laws that are already on the books,” she said. “Laws are in place to prevent people who are bringing people in to displace American workers. We need to go after the companies that are violating those laws.”

As a mother of three, Manning has fought battles with insurance companies for her daughter with chronic illness.

Manning said this gave her the opportunity to truly understand the battles many Americans experience daily. She said she was fortunate that her own battle did not displace her from her job, but many families do experience job loss and financial struggles when grappling with health issues.

“I think we deserve better,” she said. “I have the skills, and I have a proven ability to bring people together, to solve problems and to see things through to fruition.”

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