Club For Growth

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:

Ted Budd may be back to selling guns full time after November

The 13th District should have known better in the first place:

Overnight, North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District – which resembles a sloppily forged anvil covering most of Iredell County, all of Davie and Davidson counties, and parts of Rowan and Guilford counties – went from safely Republican to utterly uncertain for the Nov. 5 general election.

Of course, Republicans and GOP-friendly groups also will parachute into the race, checkbooks in hand, to bolster Budd’s counterattack. Early prognostications made the freshman Budd, a gun store owner and farmer from Advance, the odds-on favorite in District 13, where President Donald Trump pulled 53 percent of the vote in 2016 and Budd actually did better by picking up 56 percent.

And yes, I fully realize I just told you the other day we need to focus on Legislative races and not Congressional ones, but I kinda hate Ted Budd. If you don't, you're not paying attention:

Club For Growth spent $1.2 million in two NC Congressional races

And North Carolina voters danced well to their tune:

In an otherwise quiet primary, money spoke loudly Tuesday. The biggest spender, The Club for Growth Action, was the most successful.

The Washington, D.C.,-based Super PAC spent $700,000 to defeat U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers in the 2nd District Republican primary. She was crushed by fellow Rep. George Holding, who moved in from the 13th District, 53 percent to 24 percent. Even an endorsement from Donald Trump couldn’t save Ellmers, who was not considered conservative enough by her opponents.

Conservatives have been gunning for Renee Ellmers for well over a year, so this spending might have been merely icing on the cake. But when you decide to coronate a nobody, those dollars are critical:

Club For Growth grooms its next Congressional puppet

The less experienced, the better:

Budd, 44, owns part of a family farm near Advance as well as a firearms complex called ProShots in Rural Hall. But he has not held elective office and faces a bevy of current and former elected officials in the 17-candidate Republican primary set for June 7. Early voting begins May 26. Budd acknowledged that he would face a “learning curve” if elected, but he said he did not think his lack of prior experience in public office would hinder him.

The group’s ad campaign on Budd’s behalf sets him apart from other candidates in the crowded race, with the first such district-wide media effort of the primary. The 30-second ad spots depict Budd as a farmer, family man, “home schooler,” and small businessman who has “never run for office before.”

For those of you skeptical about his chances, remember these two factors: There will not be a runoff in the GOP Primary. Whoever gets the most votes, regardless of what percent of the total that is, will move forward to the General Election in November. And the 13th is gerrymandered to produce a Republican winner, no matter how bat-shit crazy he or his advisors are:

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