North Carolina represents the state where congressional gains can be made. Thanks to Gerrymandering, a process Republicans should employ against the Democrats, there are several open seats and winnable seats going into the midterm cycle. Unlike Texas, North Carolinian candidates possess clear distinctions between RINO’s and Conservatives. With May 17th approaching, the voters in the state that gave the world Mark Robinson have the opportunity to elect conservatives instead of RINO’s to these contested seats.
NC SENATE SEAT: OPEN REPUBLICAN SEAT
The departure of RINO Senator Richard Burr presents a golden opportunity to establish a senate majority with an actual conservative. With a 46% Liberty Score, Richard Burr was one of the 7 republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump for the FBI provoked “insurrection.” Should the wrong candidate be chosen, voters will be stuck with another RINO career politician.
With an 88% Liberty Score and leading the Real Clear Politics average is Ted Budd, current Representative of the 13th district. Budd is endorsed by Donald Trump and is a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Liberty Score reviews negatively several of his votes on military intervention matters and he is on record voting for the First Step Act and some omnibus spending bills. Otherwise, he can rightfully claim a solid conservative voting record. He would represent a safe choice for conservative voters and a vast improvement over Burr.
Second in this race is former governor Pat McCrory. Under McCrory’s tenure as governor, he signed prolife legislation along with the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, otherwise known as the bathroom bill. While it might appear that he stood tall on this issue, acting before other states did, he would compromise by allowing employment protections for homosexuals and transvestites via executive order and vetoed a bill that would have allowed magistrates to refuse to perform gay marriages. On the campaign trail, McCrory attacks Budd for calling Putin an intelligent actor and refers to January 6 as a “riot,” believing that Budd (and by extension Cawthorn) are an embarrassment to North Carolina and would cost them a senate seat. The key implication is that Budd is too radical to win moderates. Therefore, McCrory is positioning himself to the left of Budd. McCrory is a simp for the jabs, even going back to September of 2021, where he faults the Biden Mandates for failing to encourage “vaccination.” He might have been a decent governor back in 2016, but six years removed from office, and already positioning himself to the left of a Freedom Caucus member with an 88% Liberty Score, one cannot conclude that he would be better than Budd.
The last candidate with an RPC average above 1% is Mark Walker, former congressman and pastor in the Greensboro area. He was replaced by Kathy Manning following the 2020 election cycle but did not seek reelection due to redistricting at the time. During his tenure, Walker was one of the better congressmen, but is identical to Budd in terms of his voting record with exception to a farm bill. The biggest difference between them is Trump’s endorsement. It might be that Walker is the best candidate in this race, but the polling shows that he is a heavy underdog. Previously, Walker contemplated challenging RINO Senator Tillis, but backed down—a move for the best since the 2020 primaries were a mess. His aspirations are well known, but they might have been better served by Walker fighting for the 6th district instead of seeking the higher office. Maybe there is a different office in his future.
NC 1st District: OPEN DEMOCRAT SEAT
The NC-1 District is only +5 Democrat and represents an opportunity to gain a seat, which should bode well in this midterm cycle.
Returning to the campaign trail is previous candidate Sandy Smith, a businesswoman and mother with already established name recognition and the endorsement of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Paul Gosar, Roger Stone, and Rep. Anthony Sabatini. She also has a Gab account and is endorsed by North Carolina Grassroots Government, which is a Christian Conservative political organization in North Carolina. Smith is a firebrand and ultimately, this comes across as her race to lose given her established name ID. Previously, she lost 54-46% in 2020, where election fraud was rampant, but this district is friendlier to her. Personally, voters in NC-01 should look no further and vote Sandy Smith.
Also running in this race is Billy Strickland. Strickland comes across as a solid Christian conservative in this race and is the Chairman of the Wayne County Republican Committee. Along with being an attorney, he is a family man. Strickland lacks a large social media presence, a track record, and the endorsements of Smith. He might be the second-best candidate in this race, which is not inherently a negative. Perhaps, he should run for local office instead.
Next in this race is tech entrepreneur Brad Murphy. Murphy comes across as a technocrat whose website boasts that he wants to focus on building space based internet and modernize the economy. This is a far cry from the normal platform items most candidates feature. I find unlikely that he would be a staunch Freedom Caucus member, but instead a man of endless fiscal spending—the same spending that drives inflation. Digitizing our economy is not America First. His solutions are different than those advocating policies which would return and protect American manufacturing.
Likely self-funding his campaign with a million dollars is Sandy Roberson, Mayor of Rocky Mount. On his website, he prides himself as a pro-business conservative, but he is a RINO who retweeted Mitt Romney in March of 2020. Though the term is played out, Roberson is a male Karen, and it seems his campaign is little more than vanity with extra cash.
NC 6th District: Longshot Flip
The 6th district, helmed by Kathy Manning is a Dems +9, so with enough effort, this seat could be flipped by a viable, likable, strong candidate. However, based on 2021 financing numbers, this does not appear to be the case. The effort in this race, at least from a fundraising and website perspective seems miniscule. This is an ambitious flip, but Team GOP needs to up its game to make this happen.
Returning as a candidate is Lee Haywood, who boasts a politically incorrect raffle with an AR-15 and bourbon as prizes. Haywood was the prior opponent to Manning, loosing with just under 40% of the vote. Moreover, he won his primary with 70%, so he is a favorite to win again.
Also in this race is Gerry Austin, a seemingly solid Christian conservative who aligns himself with Madison Crawthorn politically. I believe both candidates are solid from a birds eye view, but they lack the funding necessary to mount serious campaigns in a district which flipped blue in 2018. This is a suburban mom district, so it could be a bellwether to the GOP in the future.
NC 13th District: OPEN REPUBLICAN SEAT
Because it is an open seat, with Ted Budd is seeking the US Senate, his seat covering Raleigh is left open in a heavily contested primary.
The Trump endorsed favorite in this race is Bo Hines. Hines boasts a traditional conservative platform and is a Yale graduate with a history with political involvement in the administrations of RINO’s Eric Holcomb and SD Senator Mike Rounds. However, working under RINO’s does not necessarily a RINO make. Hines is critical of Romney, McConnell, and Liz Cheney, whether genuinely so or just as a means to appease Trump. Either way, he is a MAGA bro who has been groomed for politics. This political grooming is problematic and a precursor to disappointment to follow. In a 2017 interview, Hines claimed he is not a social conservative:
I’d run as a republican, but I’m not a social conservative. I call myself a social libertarian, I guess. I’m a lot more liberal on certain social issues. I think it’s part of our generation. I’m hoping the Republican Party in the future will not be so bogged down by the 80-year-olds sitting in congress who want to regulate how people live their lives.
Chalk this up as another bad Trump endorsement as this is clearly a guy who went to Yale to enter politics and make a career of it.
Second in GOP funding is Kent Keirsey, a combat veteran and businessman. Its worth noting that his veteran status is his biggest selling point, which is problematic given the numerous veterans who serve and then betray their country in Congress (McCain and Crenshaw). He could be solid and has a successful business career but transitioning that into politics remains to be seen.
Christian outsider Chad Slotta has been active against local school mask mandates and has the backing of the NC Values Coalition, making him more publicly against this tyranny than his peers. Slotta runs a ministry called Slotta Global Ministries, whose function and mission are rather vague. Slotta was redistricted into this district from a heavily democratic district, so its reasonable to question the seriousness of his campaign now that he is in a winnable district. Moreover, he previously donated to Hines prior to the redistricting.
For a more serious candidate, there is DeVan Barbour. He appears as a solid Christian conservative, but the recent Ukrainian conflict begs questions to whether he is a war-hawk. He tweeted a pic of A-10 Jets saying that America needs to lead from the front and supply Ukraine with lethal aid.
Aspiring to return to Congress is former Rep Renee Ellmers. Previously, Ellmers ran as a Tea Party candidate in 2010 where she proceeded to become a foot soldier for John Boehner, passing spending bills, supporting amnesty, funding Obamacare, and killing prolife legislation. She betrayed voters before and will do so again if given the opportunity.