North Carolina State Representative John Blust is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress, representing North Carolina’s newly drawn 13th Congressional District. This proposed new district includes parts of Guilford, Rowan and Iredell counties, plus all of Davidson County and Davie County (see map below). Up until January 2015, the 13th District included parts of Wake, Wayne, Wilson, Edgecombe, Nash, Franklin, Vance, and Granville counties.
Proposed Congressional District 13 (as of April 8, 2016):
A New Set of Congressional Districts
Exactly how this election will be carried out still depends on whether or not the courts uphold the new districts that were drawn up by the North Carolina General Assembly this February – after a federal judicial panel ruled that the 1st and 12th districts drawn in 2011 were unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering. These events threw the primary schedules out of kilter since it was only weeks away from the March 15, 2016, primaries.
Shuffling Districts, Shuffling Primaries
Of course, changing the 1st and 12th districts could not just involve redrawing those districts. Rearranging the puzzle that is the North Carolina congressional map affected more than a few districts – including the creation of a completely new N.C. Congressional District 13.
To make time for the redistricting process, state lawmakers agreed to move the congressional primary to a June 7, 2016, special election, while other issues facing N.C. voters, including the primaries for governor and a $2 billion bond issue, were held on March 15.
But these new districts are stirring up some new wrinkles in the elections for the state’s congressional delegation. District 13 incumbent Representative George Holding [R-13], who lives nowhere near the proposed new District 13, has decided to run in the 2nd District, facing a stiff primary challenge from sitting Congresswoman Renee Ellmers [R-2]. More than a few politicians, including incumbents, are using the redistricting as an opportunity to move to districts with constituencies that are a better fit for their political stances – or their districts may have disappeared altogether. North Carolina law does not require members of Congress to live in the district they represent, only in the state.
In comparison to the 13th District, the 6th District is a snoozer. Greensboro Republican and Freshman Representative Mark Walker faces only one challenger in the primary — newcomer Chris Hardin, a pharmaceutical sales representative from Browns Summit.
Pete Glidewell was the only Democrat to file in the 6th District. The former chairman of the Alamance County Democratic Party, he will face the GOP winner in the fall.
The new 12th District no longer wriggles its way through the Triad, but it still drew candidates from the Greensboro-Winston-Salem area. Incumbent Rep. Alma Adams of Greensboro (whose Mecklenburg/Rowan County district was eliminated) will take on Gardenia Henley of Winston-Salem in the Democratic primary, along with state House members Carla Cunningham, Rodney Moore, and Tricia Cotham, and former state Senator Rick Miller and Malcolm Graham.
Paul Wright, Ryan Duffie, and Leon Threatt are chasing the GOP nomination in the 12th District.
22 File to Run for the New 13th Congressional District in North Carolina
State Representative John Blust announced he is running for the new 13th District on March 2, 2016, at the Guilford County Republican Headquarters.
But with the creation of a new district, comes the creation of an open congressional seat, and the political equivalent of a free-for-all. He is joined by 16 other Republicans and five Democrats.
Republicans who have filed for the 13th Congressional District:
- Andrew Brock, a North Carolina state senator from Mocksville;
- Vernon Robinson, a former Winston-Salem City Council member;
- George Rouco, a Mooresville attorney and former CIA officer;
- Hank Henning, a Guilford County commissioner from High Point;
- Harry Warren, a state House member from Salisbury;
- Julia Howard, District 79 state House member from Mocksville;
- Matthew McCall, Iredell County register of deeds, who lives in Mooresville;
- Jim Snyder, a Lexington resident and former candidate for lieutenant governor;
- Jason Walser, former executive director of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, in Salisbury;
- Kay Daly, a communications professional who lives near Pinehurst;
Other GOP candidates include Kathy Feather, Farren Shoaf, Ted Budd, Chad Gant, Dan Barrett and David Thompson.
Democrats who have filed for the 13th Congressional District:
- Adam Coker, a Greensboro business person;
- Bob Isner, a Greensboro developer;
- Bruce Davis, a former Guilford County commissioner from High Point;
- Kevin Griffin, a Durham business person who lost the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate to Deborah Ross in 2016;
- Mazie Ferguson, a Greensboro minister who recently lost a bid for state labor commissioner.