Madison Cawthorn in woods with gun and dog
Image from MadisonCawthorn.com.

Washington Examiner profiles 11th District’s Cawthorn

Abraham Mahshie writes for the Washington Examiner about the surprise winner in North Carolina’s 11th District Republican congressional primary.

Madison Cawthorn won’t dare criticize “our great president,” despite President Trump’s siding with his Republican primary rival in a contest the 24-year-old ended up winning.

But Cawthorn will call out the Republican party for lacking empathy, something he said will win him Mark Meadows’s old congressional seat as the party’s nominee in November — virtually a sure thing in a Western North Carolina district where in 2016 Trump beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by a 17-vote margin.

“My voters were not out there voting against Donald Trump, but the people of Western North Carolina do not take well to cronyism,” Cawthorn, 24, told the Washington Examiner at his home, straddled on either end of his dining room table by busts of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.

Conservatives from this part of the state don’t take well to people telling them what to do, or who to vote for, he said.

“They were very discerning people,” he said of his 40,000 primary voters. “They’re individualistic, they’re rugged. They don’t take well to outsiders. And you know, they said, this is the son of our mountains.”

That’s why his primary rival and Meadows’ hand-pick successor, Haywood County Republican Party Chairwoman Lynda Bennett, 62, lost her bid last Tuesday and made the young real estate investor the Republican candidate for District 11, a ruby red part of the state drawn to mostly exclude liberal Asheville.

Cawthorn on Aug. 1 will turn 25, the minimal age to be a House member, under the Constitution. He’ll join a small handful of lawmakers who entered the chamber at that rarified age, and the first since the mid-1970s. …

… What life experience he lacks, Cawthorn said, he has in overcoming adversity.

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Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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