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Madison Cawthorn says he'll run for reelection in new district that includes part of Mecklenburg

Madison Cawthorn
Then-candidate Madison Cawthorn addresses spectators at an event in Sylva the summer of 2020.

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn announced Thursday that he is changing congressional districts.

Cawthorn, a first-term Republican representative, said in a video posted to Twitter that he will run for reelection in North Carolina's newly redrawn 13th Congressional District. That district runs from Western North Carolina to include a part of western Mecklenburg County.

Cawthorn currently represents North Carolina's 14th Congressional District.

“We now have a new district and as it stands the lines have split my constituents,” Cawthorn said in the video. “My house is almost directly on the line of separation between the 13th and 14th congressional districts and now half the counties in the new district are counties I represent.”

When North Carolina gained a new seat in Congress, Republican lawmakers appeared to draw it for state House speaker Tim Moore of Cleveland County.

That new seat — the 13th district — includes part of north and west Mecklenburg, and then stretches west, including Gaston, Cleveland and Rutherford counties.

While the district appeared hand-made for Moore, Cawthorn said he’s leaving the 14th district — which includes Asheville and the mountains — to run in the new 13th.

In the video posted to Twitter, he appeared to take a swipe at the house speaker.

“We have a unique opportunity to increase conservative leadership in North Carolina,” Cawthorn said. “I have every confidence in the world that regardless of where I run, the 14th Congressional District will send a patriotic fighter to DC. But knowing the political realities of the 13th District I am afraid that another establishment Republican, go along to get along Republican would prevail there.”

Cawthorn is the youngest member of Congress, and one of the most controversial. He was a prominent speaker at a Washington D.C. rally before the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In the new Congressional map, Cawthorn’s district in the mountains became slightly purple after absorbing Watauga County. The non-partisan Princeton Gerrymandering Report said a Republican would be favored there by about 7 percentage points.

In the new district, a Republican would be favored by 20 percentage points.

In the new map, Mecklenburg County is split into two other districts besides the new 13th.

Democrat Alma Adams said this week she will run for re-election in the new 9th District, which includes most of the city of Charlotte. That district is a Democratic stronghold.

Mecklenburg’s other member of Congress is Republican Dan Bishop. He announced he is running for re-election in the new 8th district, which includes southern Mecklenburg. It also includes Union, Anson and several counties to the east.

Bishop doesn’t live in the 8th District. Members of Congress don’t have to live in the district they represent, but Bishop could move a few miles and be in the new 8th.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

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