Republican David Rouzer is running for a fourth term as NC’s 7th District representative in Congress. Challenging him are Democrat Chris Ward and Independent Terri Everett, who is running a write-in campaign.
The 7th District stretches from the southern beaches in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties up to Johnston County. It includes all of seven counties and the eastern portion of Harnett County.
This is the seventh story of NCND’s series previewing the Congressional elections in North Carolina. The first six can be found here: 1st District, 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, 5th District, and 6th District.
Now, let’s get to know the candidates for the 7th District:
Incumbent: David Rouzer (R)
Years in Congress: 5 (elected in 2014)
Committees: Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Agriculture
Previous political experience: N.C. State Senate (2009-12)
Background: Rouzer worked on his family’s farm during summers growing up in Four Oaks, and he graduated from N.C. State in 1994, according to his official website. Soon after, he got involved in politics by working on staff for former North Carolina senators Jesse Helms and Elizabeth Dole.
Rouzer later became the owner of a consulting firm designed to help small businesses improve sales and marketing efforts.
Platform: Rouzer receives high marks from conservative groups FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, according to GovTrack. FiveThirtyEight says Rouzer has voted in line with Trump 92.1% of the time; the Congressman voted against Trump’s views just four times since the beginning of 2019.
Challenger: Chris Ward (D)
Background: Ward is a native of the 7th District. He was born and raised in Tabor City, which is located in Columbus County right along the border with South Carolina. He studied nuclear engineering at N.C. State and went to work in the pharmaceutical industry. Ward works in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and also owns a real estate firm.
Platform: According to his campaign website, Ward is a gun owner and supports the Second Amendment. Ward is also related to a teacher, and he wants to prevent people dealing with mental illness from owning guns.
“I will work to ensure all those who own guns are not a threat to our community safety,” Ward says on his campaign website.
The southeastern part of the state heavily relies on agriculture. Ward promises to work “to take a stand for farmers and the rural way of life.”
Candidate: Terri Everett (I)
Background: Everett’s campaign website says she lived in Onslow County on a hog and chicken farm that was owned by her great grandparents. The farm also had various crops such as corn, peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes.
Platform: The main issue of Everett’s campaign, which is a write-in campaign, is the environment. She mentions on her campaign website that the quality of the environment has a direct correlation to quality of life, the health of its citizens, and the strength of its agricultural industry.
“I will be a strong advocate for solutions to challenges that threaten the livelihood and well-being of District 7 citizens who fish, farm, and live in our coastal communities,” her campaign website says.
Here’s what all that means…
The district received a Solid Republican rating from BallotPedia, which means Rouzer appears primed to represent the 7th District for a fourth straight term.
Only six members of the House of Representatives are to the right of Rouzer on GovTrack’s ideology scale, and one of those is no longer in Congress. Mark Meadows is among that group; he represented North Carolina’s 11th District before being named the current White House chief of staff for President Donald Trump.
Democrats had their run on representing the 7th District from the late 1800s to 2015, but that probably won’t happen again for at least a while.
North Carolina News Daily will continue writing these district-by-district breakdowns over the coming weeks. That, however, is not all the site offers for political coverage. Head over to the Law section for more about North Carolina’s politics.