By Clint Parker
Hendersonville – Once the outsider and longshot at being the Republican nominee for the 11th Congressional District race, Madison Cawthorn is now the darling of the GOP and media.
Madison Cawthorn, a small businessman and motivational speaker running for the congressional seat, won the Republican Primary runoff election and advances to the general election despite the backing of the political establishment, including former Congressman Mark Meadows, for his runoff opponent Haywood County resident Lynda Bennett. Bennett lost the bid for the 11th Congressional District to the young Cawthorn, 24, a candidate not yet old enough to hold the seat, but will be in time for the November election. Cawthorn, a Henderson County native, took the 2-1 win in the special runoff election on June 23 and has been riding the “red carpet treatment” by the grand old party and media ever since.
A call from President Trump congratulating him on the win, and appearances on FoxNews and ABC’s “The View,” have put Cawthorn in the driver’s seat for media exposure. In contrast, his upcoming Democratic challenger, Moe Davis, a former Air Force prosecutor and had no runoff, has seen little news coverage except for the local ABC affiliate.
A statement released by NC GOP Chairman Michael Whatley on election night stated, “The North Carolina Republican Party congratulates Madison Cawthorn on winning the Second Republican Primary in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. Mr. Cawthorn ran a fantastic campaign during the primary and the runoff, and we are completely confident that next January, he will be sworn in to represent the 11th District in the House of Representatives. He will be a great fighter for Smoky Mountain families and always put America first.”
“Ours is not just a ‘grassroots’ campaign,” Cawthorn said at his victory party on election night, “Together, we are creating the deep roots of a solid oak tree which Abraham Lincoln compared to pillars of freedom. We can build new pillars all across this nation and prove Lincoln right when he said, ‘that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’”
Cawthorn tried to quash any idea that his victory was a repudiation of President Trump, who was supporting Bennett. “Finally, I want to make something clear; I support our great president. I do not believe this election has been a referendum on the president’s influence. The people of western North Carolina are wise and discerning. You observed both candidates and simply made the choice you believed is best for our district. I look forward to fighting alongside our president after I’m elected in November,” Cawthorn said.