WINTERVILLE – Sandy Smith, a Republican who, until now, was challenging Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) in that primary, is retraining her sights on congress. Smith announced this week that she would run in the 1st Congressional District, a seat currently occupied by Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield. It’s not the first time she’s considered a run for congress, having initially vied in the 3rd District special primary earlier this year.
In challenging a Democrat, Smith hopes to take advantage of a newly drawn district offering a glimmer of hope to Republicans who’ve been represented by a loyal partisan Democrat for too long. The campaign released the following statement explaining the move:
“After many discussions with my family, my supporters, and other conservative Republican members of Congress, including members of the House Freedom Caucus, it is very clear, we have to win back the House in 2020 and North Carolina needs to make up for our lost seats due to redistricting.
With much prayer, thought and encouragement, I have decided to run for Congress in North Carolina’s newly redrawn 1st Congressional District, which is now my home district.
After the Democrats forced the North Carolina legislature to redraw the congressional maps, North Carolina’s 1st District is now much more competitive and a winnable seat for Republicans.
Why not continue to primary Thom Tillis? I originally ran against Thom Tillis for the US Senate in order to defeat him for his horrible anti-Trump rhetoric, opposing the border wall, supporting gun control, among other liberal positions.
It was not long after I filed for Senate that he began to change his tune and passionately support President Trump. He even changed his vote in support of the border wall, even though he publicly said he would not support it previously.
Then, President Trump endorsed Thom Tillis for reelection. Like many of you, I am skeptical of Tillis’ “newly found support” and my entire reason for running was to hold Thom Tillis accountable for being a roadblock to the America-first agenda. Then last week President Trump reaffirmed his endorsement of Tillis. President Trump very clearly wants Thom Tillis to be reelected.
Thom Tillis now owes President Trump for helping him clear the field, and honestly, Tillis can’t win reelection against the Democrats without President Trump’s help. So I have a feeling he will remain a supporter of the president, at least until November. By 2020, there should be more conservative senators in office to counter Thom Tillis if he decides to go back to his old ways.
I owe it to our citizens to do what is best for the country. And that means running in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District against Democrat G. K. Butterfield. G. K. Butterfield just voted for the impeachment coup of arguably one of the greatest presidents our nation has elected. He supports gun confiscation, socialism, abortion on demand up until birth, and open borders.
I would like to thank all of my family, supporters, donors, and volunteers for fighting alongside me on this journey to save our state and our country. I hope I can continue to count on your support in this next phase of my campaign to take back the House of Representatives.
I will always defend our Constitution, support President Trump, and fight for the values I hold dear – God, life, family, our rights and our liberties.
Thank you and God bless.”
Being in his eighth term, Butterfield has quite the incumbent advantage. Yet that incumbency has been in a remarkably different district. It used to include deep blue pockets like Durham that resulted in a 15+ point advantage for Democrats, but that’s not the case anymore.
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The redistricting transformations were bound to have ripple effects on parts of the standing order that seemed safe. They may be just ripples, but perhaps 2020 is just the year even long tenured Democrats are held accountable. You can learn more about the Sandy Smith for Congress campaign here.