The race for a seat in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District is expected to be one of the closest in the state.
The race between Republican incumbent Ted Budd and Democratic challenger Kathy Manning has drawn attention from national leaders like Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat John Lewis.
Budd hopes for second term
Budd was elected in 2016 and he hopes to be re-elected for a second term.
The seat was open after redistricting and it ended up being the perfect opportunity for Budd to run.
“I was encouraged by my family. I have three teenagers with my wife. We talked about just the desire to serve, and I really think that gets to the core of it,” he said. “Just the desire to use our God-given purpose and abilities to help other people.”
Budd is from Davie County. He's the owner of a gun shop and shooting range and before being elected to Congress, he had never held public office. Neither has his main opponent Kathy Manning.
Manning, a political newcober, hopes to unseat incumbent
Manning is an attorney and philanthropist in Greensboro and a newcomer to the political world. She’s lived in Greensboro for more than 30 years.
She said she’s running because Congress is too dysfunctional.
“There’s too much fighting, too much partisan bickering, too much ideologues who are not willing to work together and there are really big problems we have to solve,” she said. “We’re not going to get our problems solved unless we have people in Congress who are willing to work together.”
The 13th District: An overview
The 13th District covers two-thirds of Guilford County and goes west across several rural Republican leaning counties including all or parts of Davidson, Davie, Iredell and Rowan counties.
Democrats think winning the seat could help them retake the House.
Tom Bailey of the Libertarian Party and Robert Corriher of the Green Party are also on the ballot.
It’s projected to be a tight between Manning and Budd come Election Day.
“We can win this seat. We can take back North Carolina District 13,” Manning said at a Get Out and Vote rally at Bennett College. “But we're going to win by a very small margin and that's why I'm urging you to get out and vote.”
Congressman Ted Budd grew up in Davie County in a family of small business owners. Even though he owns a gun shop and shooting range, Budd says there needs to be more enforcement of gun control laws in the U.S.
“When that doesn't happen we have problems like we see in Parkland,” he said. “I've got three teenagers and I want them to all come home safely. You don't want them to have to go through what those students went through.”
His opponent Kathy Manning shares a somewhat similar view. Manning was raised with guns in the home and said she doesn’t’ want the government telling her that she can’t have a gun.
“We have got to find a way to take common sense measures to make sure guns aren't falling in the hands of criminals, terrorist, spousal abusers or people who pose a danger to themselves or others,” she said.
When it comes to healthcare, Manning and Budd have opposite views.
Budd said he's completely against Medicare for All and expanding any type of government-managed health care.
“I would run hard the other direction,” he said. “I would run away from that. I'm a fiscal conservative. People say free market doesn’t work and I say it doesn’t work for lack of trying.”
Manning would rather take reasonable steps that can be passed on a bipartisan basis.
“I don't think that people are generally in favor for another big government program right now,” she said. “I think the most important thing is how we make healthcare more affordable.”
Clarification: An earlier version of this story suggested Kathy Manning supports a version of "Medicare for All." A spokeswoman for Manning's campaign says the candidate does not support "Medicare for All."