Congressman Patrick McHenry won election to Congress in 2004, and he’s been there since as a representative of NC’s 10th District. David Parker, a Democrat from Iredell County, is running against him.
The 10th District runs diagonally through the foothills of North Carolina. It goes from Rockingham County in the northeast, wraps around Greensboro and Winston-Salem and then goes through Yadkin and Iredell counties before ending in Lincoln County in the southwest.
This is the 10th story in North Carolina News Daily’s breakdowns of Congressional candidates coming into the homestretch of this year’s election. If you want to read the previous nine, here you go: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, 5th District, 6th District, 7th District, 8th District, and 9th District.
Now, let’s get to McHenry and Parker:
Incumbent: Patrick McHenry (R)
Years in Congress: 15
Committees: Committee on Financial Services (ranking member)
Previous political experience: N.C. House of Representatives (2002-04)
Background: McHenry is essentially a career politician. He was appointed to be the special assistant to the Secretary of Labor in 2001 during President George W. Bush’s first term. McHenry was just 29 years old in 2004 when he won election to the U.S. House, and he was the youngest member of Congress during his first two terms.
Platform: GovTrack rates McHenry as center-right on its ideology scale and in the middle of its leadership scale.
Like the previous candidates we’ve profiled in this series, that means little when it comes to voting with regard to President Donald Trump’s policy views. FiveThirtyEight’s vote tracker says McHenry has voted in line with Trump 96.6% of the time — the second-highest rate among North Carolina’s Republican representatives. The highest among North Carolina’s representatives belongs to Rep. Dan Bishop of the 9th District. Bishop has voted with the president 97.2% of the time.
According to a recent story from NC Policy Watch, McHenry said Democrat representatives were “parading” Democrat governors in front of members of Congress to ask for more money to boost the states’ coronavirus relief efforts. “Democrats are using this hearing to claim that states are struggling, but it certainly isn’t due to a lack of funding,” McHenry says in the story.
Challenger: David Parker (D)
Previous political positions: Iredell-Statesville Board of Education, North Carolina Democratic Party chair (2012)
Background: According to Parker’s campaign website, he served as a prosecutor in Statesville in 1979 before eventually becoming a defense attorney. He says he has been part of “commercial, family law and workers compensation cases across North Carolina.” Parker’s website also says he was a member of trade delegations to Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Taiwan.
Parker holds economics and law school degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Platform: Parker does not have a platform on his campaign website, but he did answer a survey from BallotPedia. One question posed to the candidate asked for three messages for his campaign.
Parker then discussed healthcare, the economy and the Constitution in his answer. He spoke about the importance of universal healthcare when it comes to coronavirus testing access. He also mentioned universal healthcare being a pillar of a strong economy. When it came to the Constitution, Parker said Congress is obligated to “uphold the Constitutional freedoms of all Americans.”
Here’s what all of that means …
The 10th district is one of the most conservative areas in the state. So it’s pretty easy to see how this election likely will play out.
Barring a major scandal or an incredible upset, McHenry will represent the 10th District for a ninth term. Two services used by BallotPedia rate this part of North Carolina as solid Republican, and a third lists it as safely Republican.
Are you an ardent follower of politics in North Carolina? Head over to our Law section to get a bird’s-eye view of the 2020 Election.