Two candidates — David Wilson Brown and Jeff Gregory — are challenging Congresswoman Virginia Foxx to represent North Carolina’s 5th District. Foxx has represented this part of western North Carolina for the past 15 years.
The district covers the foothills and encompasses all or parts of 10 counties from the South Carolina border all the way up to the borders with Virginia and Tennessee in the northwestern part of the state.
Now, let’s get to know the incumbent and candidates for the 5th District:
Incumbent: Virginia Foxx (R)
Years in Congress: 15 (elected in 2004)
Committees: Committee on Education and the Workforce; Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Previous political experience: N.C. State Senate (1994-2004); Watauga County Board of Education (1976-1988)
Background: Foxx has earned multiple degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and also received a doctorate in education from UNC-Greensboro, according to her official House website. She taught sociology at Appalachian State and held several administrative positions at the university, including assistant dean of general college.
Platform: Foxx is in the middle of GovTrack’s ideology and leadership scales. She receives high marks from conservative groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. She has voted in line with President Donald Trump’s views 93.8% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Foxx introduced a bill in August that would look over the regulations that delayed how the United States’ prepared, responded and recovered from COVID-19. Almost a third of the bills she has sponsored deal with politics and government operations.
Challenger: David Wilson Brown (D)
Background: Brown interned for former Congresswoman Sue Myrick in 1995, and he holds degrees from Appalachian State University in political science and communications.
Brown’s campaign website says he works as an IT consultant but adds that he also has worked in television, corporate communications and web development.
Key endorsements: Equality North Carolina, Association of North Carolina Educators, National Association of Social Workers
Platform: When it comes to jobs and the economy, Brown supports getting a combined effort from the federal government and free market to address concerns about the environment. the policies. He also wants to establish a guaranteed living wage and pump federal money into job retraining.
Brown wants to create a program designed to push school districts to purchase food from area farms. He also looks to help small farmers purchase land through the implementation of conservation easements.
Challenger: Jeff Gregory (Constitution)
Background: Gregory, a graduate of Kings Mountain High School, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976-82, according to his BallotPedia bio. He also worked for the USPS.
Platform: Three words repeatedly appear in photos on the Facebook page for Gregory’s campaign — God, family, country.
A scan of posts on his campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages reveals Gregory’s strategy appears to be based in fear. He labels himself as a fighter against “socialist communists,” and in a Facebook video from April 2018, he refers to immigrants as “invaders” coming to change this country.
So what does all this mean?
Three candidates are on the ballot, but this race boils down to Wilson vs. Foxx. Even then, it probably won’t be much of a race. As a 15-year member of Congress, Foxx has a huge advantage over her challengers.
BallotPedia lists this district as solid Republican, and there aren’t many reasons to expect this seat to flip.
Richard Burr was elected to represent the 5th District in 1994, and he gave up the seat in 2004 to run for one of the state’s seats in the Senate. Subsequently, Foxx won the seat in 2004 to succeed Burr.
Three of the last four representatives for the 5th District have been Republicans.
North Carolina News Daily will break down each Congressional district leading up to the 2020 general election. Be sure to check out NCND’s Law section for a 10,000-foot view of the state’s politics.