NC-11 – A dozen Republicans and five Democrats have jumped into to contest for the 11th Congressional race. Incumbent Congressman Mark Meadows was the third, and the most surprising member of North Carolina’s Republican delegation to bow out of the 2020 reelection scrum. Unlike the other two hanging up their jersey for at least one cycle, Reps. George Holding and Mark Walker, Meadows still enjoyed a relatively red district and a considerable amount of political capital. Such a void is a lot more attractive to vie for and it shows in the numbers.
Among the Republican candidates is Meadow’s own deputy chief of staff Wayne King, of Kings Mountain. His pole position and infrastructure advantage will certainly give him an advantage in a large field. According to North Carolina law only 30 percent of the primary vote is required to advance as the party nominee. However, it’s anyone’s game, discounting the few filers merely taking wild shot. One filer is in Atlantic Beach, while the district is literally on the opposite side of the state in the mountains.
The full dozen are:
Lynda Bennett of Maggie Valley, Jim Davis of Franklin, Chuck Archerd of Asheville, Dan Driscoll of Lenoir, Joey Osborne of Hickory, Steven Fekete Jr. of Lenoir, Dillon Gentry of Banner Elk, Wayne King of Kings Mountain, Madison Cawhorn of Hendersonville, Matthew Burril of Asheville, Vance Patterson of Morganton and Albert Wiley Jr. of Atlantic Beach.
On the Democratic side, five people have thrown their hat in the ring:
Gina Collias of Kings Mountain, Moe Davis of Asheville, Michael O’Shea of Asheville, Phillip Price of Marion and Steve Woodsmall of Pisgah Forest.
A libertarian and green party candidate have also filed, while one more unaffiliated candidate hopes to have gotten on the ballot after redistricting changes. That brings the total number of competitors to 20. With any luck there are a few worthy of filling the shoes left by the inimitable Congressman Meadows and serving the conservative values of western North Carolina.
Campaigns will be ramping up after the holidays and the leader board will begin to populate more clearly. Once the calendar turns, it will be zero to warp speed with 2020 campaigning in this district, across the state, and country. Hopefully Meadows will still be an integral force in what is shaping up to be a generation defining election with the soundness of our Republic hanging in the balance.