Manning vs. Budd: NC's 13th shaping up to be an epic battle

And Ted Budd better pack more than a lunch:

It looks as though politically attuned residents of the 13th Congressional District might be getting something this year that hasn’t been seen in these parts for quite a while. The novelty? A highly competitive, evenly matched contest for North Carolina’s 13th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, one that could keep pollsters and political operatives on the edge of their chairs till the last vote is tabulated Nov. 6.

The rising tide of interest in the clash between freshman incumbent U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) and Democratic challenger Kathy Manning of Greensboro also extends to the national level, where activist groups across the political spectrum see it as one of about 30 races pivotal for the Republican Party’s chances of retaining its House majority against what some prognosticators view as a looming “blue wave” favoring Democrats.

Just a historical note: The only reason Ted Budd ended up in Washington in the first place was because the Club For Growth saw an opportunity to take advantage of a crowded GOP Primary, and poured money in so Budd could squeak by with a measly 20% of the vote. This race is going to garner national attention all the way through to November, and it's likely to get very ugly before it's over:

Republicans are stoked for a vigorous battle as well. The contest promises to be sharp-edged, with Budd turning even last week’s primary night message of congratulations for his newly minted opponent into a political dig.

“Congratulations to Kathy Manning. I look forward to hearing more about how she thinks job-creating tax relief is bad,” Budd said in a prepared statement released Tuesday night about 9:15, “and why she’s opposed to the working families of NC-13 keeping more of the money they earned in their family budget instead of the federal budget.”

He's trying to set the tone right out of the gate, but taxes are only a (small) part of the debate. Congressional Republicans are already going after Medicare and Social Security, and literally trying to destroy Medicaid completely, and we need to make Budd own that nonsense. We need to make sure voters understand that keeping people like him in office will cost them dearly in the near future, and that paltry extra few dollars in their paycheck won't help them when medical debt outpaces what little good tax "reform" does for them.

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