Current North Carolina state Sen. Wiley Nickel is taking on right-wing MAGA extremist and Madison Cawthorn 2.0 Republican Bo Hines in the race for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.
The 13th District, which includes all of Johnston County, the southern part of Wake County outside Raleigh, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties, is expected to be one of the closest races in the entire country. The district is currently represented by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Budd, but the district has been redrawn since he won.
Nickel is a two-term state Senator, criminal defense attorney and former White House staffer under President Barack Obama.
Hines is a Donald Trump-endorsed 27-year-old former NC State football player and trust fund kid who has never run for office or, according to his Federal Election Commission financial disclosure, had a real job.
As Spectrum News One pointed out in their profile of the race, because of how much of a swing district it is, Hines has tried to position himself as a moderate.
When it comes to Hines’s move to the “middle” it’s important to keep in mind how far right his beliefs actually are:
- Hines beat out multiple other Republican candidates in the primary after receiving Trump’s endorsement.
- He has called for the FBI to be defunded.
- He has shown he’s a believer in “The Big Lie” by saying he wouldn’t have voted to certify President Joe Biden’s win in 2020
- Said he “will be the most conservative member of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation”
- Has called for a halt to all immigration for 10 years
- Called himself “100% Pro-God, 100% Pro-Gun and 100% Pro-Trump”
- Has said abortion is “absolutely murder and any Republican politician who’s not willing to say that should not be in office”
Now that Election Day is only a couple of weeks away and he’s seen the nationwide backlash to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Hines has decided he supports “exceptions for life of the mother and on an ‘individual basis’” and scrubbed his anti-abortion rhetoric from his campaign website. He wouldn’t tell Spectrum whether or not he supports a general exception for rape or incest, though.
Cook Political Report rates the race as a toss-up and has the 13th District as a +2 for Republicans. According to The Washington Post, both Democratic and Republican strategists have said internal polling shows the race is “dead even.”