Political Notebook: Shots fired in the 2018 congressional race

Published 12:05 am Monday, December 11, 2017

The race is on for congress in 2018, and things are already getting heated.

In North Carolina’s 13th district, three Democrats are challenging Republican incumbent Ted Budd. The district includes Davie and Davidson counties and parts of Rowan, Iredell and Guilford counties.

Challengers Adam Coker, of Greensboro, and Beniah McMiller, of Statesville, filed for candidacy in October. The pair seemed to sneak in under the radar, with little response from Budd’s campaign team.

The atmosphere changed as Kathy Manning, also of Greensboro, joined the race in early December.

In a statement announcing her candidacy, Manning spoke in direct disapproval of Budd’s work as a representative.

“Politicians like Ted Budd are too busy fighting with each other to get anything done,” she said. “… Budd seems to be drowning in the partisan, special interest swamp that is Washington.”

Budd’s team was ready to react with criticism of their own.

As Manning’s campaign launched, Budd’s team snagged the top search result in Google with their website “kathymanningforcongress.com.”

Kathymanningforcongress.com describes Manning as a “Democrat insider who’s worked for decades alongside far-left Democrats.” The site was registered by an anonymous source on Nov. 7 and is paid for by Ted Budd for Congress.

This left Manning’s team no choice but to opt for “kathymanning4congress.com” as it registered its site on Nov. 30.

A similar ‘spoof’ Twitter account, KathyManningDC appeared with a link to the “for congress” site, a play on Manning’s official Twitter handle: KathyManningNC

Now in her second week campaigning, Manning has taken the top search result for Google searches for ‘Kathy Manning.”

But beyond potential mudslinging and name-calling, what do these two current candidates stand for?

Ted Budd’s key issues

On his website, Ted Budd says he believes that North Carolina’s economy has become stifled due to a “bloated federal government” and that he is fighting to eliminate stifling regulations.

The site says he believes that education is the key to a successful future, and that parents should be in control of their children’s education.

Budd has positioned himself as a champion of veterans, saying that these men and women deserve our utmost respect. On his website, he says that he is working to ensure our veterans receive “the care and attention they deserve.”

He is against the Affordable Healthcare Act, saying it restricts options and costs North Carolinians thousands of dollars.

Kathy Manning’s key issues

Manning, conversely, says she believes that congress is currently focusing on what she finds to be the wrong issue. She said congress is working to take away healthcare from people, when it should be working to make healthcare more affordable.

As a member of congress, Manning said she would engage in conversations with healthcare providers and pharmacists, finding ways to bring healthcare costs down and make it more accessible.

Manning said that her background and close contact with small, family-run businesses has given her a heart for supporting these types of development across North Carolina. She said she believes in appropriate regulations that support business growth rather than hamper it.

District 8 race remains uncontested

Currently, Representative Richard Hudson, NC-8, is running unchallenged. North Carolina’s 8th district includes all of Cabarrus, Montgomery, Moore, Hoke and Stanly counties, as well as portions of Rowan and Cumberland counties.

The deadline to file for congressional candidacy is Feb. 28, 2018, and costs 1 percent of the office’s annual salary. You can file for candidacy at the N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement.