Four candidates are running for NC’s 11th District seat in Congress. That’s four names looking to replace former Congressman Mark Meadows.
In case you don’t remember: Meadows, one of the most conservative members in Congress, took a role in the White House around the start of 2020 and was appointed Chief of Staff by President Donald Trump at the end of March.
The four-term Congressman was part of a chaotic atmosphere surrounding Trump’s health during his recent stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Meadows on Oct. 3 contradicted the overall upbeat message Dr. Sean Conley delivered about the president’s health.
This Politico commentary from Oct. 4 shows how Meadows loves to play games with people. That includes opponents (media members in this most recent case) and those in his own party (John Boehner, the former Speaker of the House).
But enough about who’s not going to represent the 11th District moving forward.
The four-person race in 2020 boils down to two candidates and the bitterness between them. Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis have traded barbs and accusations like Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Although Davis mostly has been the aggressor on that front.
You can read more about it in this September story from The Charlotte Observer.
The 17 most western counties make up NC’s 11th District. Asheville is a little northeast of the center of the district, which borders Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.
This is North Carolina News Daily’s 11th Congressional race preview. The previous 10 can be found here: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, 5th District, 6th District, 7th District, 8th District, 9th District, and 10th District.
Now, let’s look at the candidates:
Candidate: Madison Cawthorn (R)
Background: Several issues have come up during Cawthorn’s campaign.
At first, he presented a heartwarming story to voters: a nomination to the Naval Academy in 2014 couldn’t come to fruition when Cawthorn was paralyzed in a car accident at 18 years old. An August story from AVL Watchdog showed that claim was false.
Cawthorn also was accused of sexually aggressive behavior. Katrina Kulikas described a date she went on with Cawthorn in a social media post, according to an August story from The Asheville Citizen-Times. Kulikas said she had to physically rebuke Cawthorn’s multiple attempts to kiss her.
Then there was a now-deleted post on Instagram from The Eagle’s Nest, Adolf Hitler’s retreat from World War II in southern Germany. Cawthorn, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times, said in the post that the trip was on his “bucket list” and referred to Hitler as “the Furher.”
Key endorsements: Rep. Dan Crenshaw
Platform: Cawthorn’s platform has a lot of conservative tendencies, but let’s focus on one area: healthcare. He says he wants to update the current system and touts his knowledge in this area due to losing the use of his legs because of a car accident in 2014. Cawthorn believes patients can hold on to their current plans and also “pay less and have more choices with better benefits” by turning themselves “into shoppers.”
Candidate: Moe Davis (D)
Background: Davis served as the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay and is a retired colonel from the Air Force.
His campaign website said Davis resigned from his position at Guantanamo Bay in 2007 after refusing “to use evidence obtained through torture, believing it was both immoral and illegal and the evidence unreliable.” Davis also says he was fired from the Library of Congress after writing a piece for The Wall Street Journal criticizing how the Obama Administration oversaw prosecutions at Guantanamo Bay.
Davis graduated from Appalachian State University and holds a law degree from North Carolina Central University. His campaign website says he enlisted in the Air Force after passing the bar exam.
Key endorsements: Gov. Roy Cooper, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), VoteVets, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Equality NC
Platform: Davis says on his website he has owned multiple guns as an adult and carried one while he worked as a bail bondsman. That said, he supports making universal background checks mandatory and enacting red flag laws. Davis also wants to create a permitting process — similar to what’s required for obtaining concealed-carry permits — for getting military-style assault weapons.
Candidate: Tracey DeBruhl (Libertarian)
Platform: DeBruhl’s campaign Facebook page has only one campaign video that was posted 10 months ago.
In the video, the long-haired, long-bearded DeBruhl wears a beanie and asks voters if they’re tired of “empty promises” and “police corruption.” He goes through a few more things and then asks if citizens are ready for “the legalization of marijuana.”
The last shot of the video then flashes, “DeBruhl for Congress” and “paid for by weed.”
Candidate: Tamara Zwinak (Green)
Platform: Zwinak supports a wide variety of progressive domestic policies — one being the universal basic income.
“Univer l Basic Income can easily be funded by restructuring (supplemental security income) and (social security disability insurance); and entitlement programs, saving trillions of dollars over the long-term,” Zwinak says on her campaign website.
The three main points listed on her BallotPedia profile are sustainability, healthcare and universal basic income.
If elected, Zwinak wants to hold talks between law enforcement agencies, members of the Black Lives Matter organization, the Proud Boys, and other political organizations. “We must talk and we must listen,” Zwinak said in her BallotPedia survey. “We can bring peace to the American communities on fire.”
What Do These Four Options Mean to NC’s 11th District Race?
Asheville is a wonderful mountain city with a population of just under 100,000 people, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2018. It’s also a fairly liberal city with a vibrant art scene and a lot of excellent breweries. Asheville, however, isn’t like the rest of the 11th District. Buncombe County, home of Asheville, is the only county in NC’s 11th District that Democrats carried in the 2016 and 2012 presidential elections.
Ratings services used by BallotPedia have this district as either likely or solid Republican.
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