COLUMBUS, N.C.—North Carolina Republican candidates spoke on several election issues at a meet-and-greet lunch for the state’s 11th Congressional District.
Most of the candidates were local. The lunch’s roster also included 11th Congressional representative candidates Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) and Kristie Sluder; and a video appearance by senatorial candidate Marjorie Eastman.
While constituents enjoyed an ample Southern smorgasbord, the candidates each gave brief speeches on their positions. The atmosphere was casual and friendly overall.
Cawthorn seemed to delivered the speech that got most audience engagement.
He focused on his experience dealing with Democrats in Congress. He said that dealing with Democratic leaders changed him from a libertarian to a more combative kind of conservative.
He cited the recent creation of President Joe Biden’s “Disinformation Governance Board” as a demonstration of how Democrats have tried to control free speech.
“If we give them emergency powers, they will create an emergency so they can take more power,” he said of Democrats’ policies. “And if we sacrifice liberty on the altar of safety, then we deserve neither.”
Despite their different contexts, local and national office candidates had much in common on policies.
North Carolina state representative candidate Rep. David Rogers (R) and Cawthorn agreed that the state’s last-minute electoral redistricting was unconstitutional. The State Supreme Court argued that the maps were unfair to Democrats and changed them only three months before the state’s primary election.
This map will likely result in North Carolina going from eight Republicans and five Democratic representatives to seven Republican and six Democratic districts, and one wild card district.
Cawthorn told The Epoch Times that North Carolina’s biggest problem was a division within the Republican Party.
“In my opinion, the biggest problem in North Carolina is you have this undercurrent of the establishment versus the hardcore conservative populist libertarian-leaning conservatives that are really stepping out,” he said. “You get guys like Mark Robinson, you have guys like myself. Our Senate race is incredibly important.”