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In First NC Attorney General Debate, Rep. Jeff Jackson Uses Rep. Dan Bishop’s Own Tweets to Prove He’s Unqualified for the Job

Source: Editorial Board

The two candidates running to be the next attorney general of North Carolina are white male lawyers from the Charlotte area who currently serve in the U.S. House of Representatives – and that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

The Republican candidate, Rep. Dan Bishop, is likely best known in the state as the architect of the embarrassing and economically disastrous House Bill 2 (the “Bathroom Bill”), but that’s not the only awful policy he’s tied himself to. Bishop tried to stop the certification of the 2020 election and is an election denier who thinks Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Bishop supports “election integrity” measures, including voter ID and cracking down on non-existent voter fraud. 

He voted against impeaching or convicting Trump for inciting an insurrection, which he called “the worst example of an insurrection in the history of mankind” during a House floor speech against creating a Jan. 6 commission. He opposes guaranteeing access to contraception and also supports legislation that bans abortion from the moment of conception and forces impregnated victims of rape and incest to give birth to their attacker’s child.

His Democratic opponent is Rep. Jeff Jackson, a veteran who served in Afghanistan, a former assistant district attorney, a former state senator and a current major in the Army National Guard. Jackson is also a staunch supporter of reproductive rights,  women’s rights, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, strengthening our public education system, reforming the criminal justice system and taking immediate action to address climate change.

On June 21, the two candidates gathered in a room full of attorneys at the Charlotte Convention Center for their first debate. The North Carolina Bar Association hosted the debate, which focused on several specific issues.

Bishop opened the debate by stating, “My top priority is securing law and order in North Carolina. Period.”

But, instead of telling voters how his idea of “law and order” jibes with his support of an attempted overthrow of the U.S. government that injured more than 140 law enforcement officers and has resulted in more than 1,265 arrests, he spent much of the debate attacking Democrats.

Viewers saw the most fireworks at the debate when the topic turned to each candidate’s views and policy ideas.

Jackson said he is one of Congress’ most bipartisan members and Bishop one of its least – and most extreme.

“I score among the top 5% most bipartisan members of Congress,“ Jackson said. “My opponent scores in the bottom 5%. And for this Congress, that’s really saying something. You have to try to get there.”

“We get a few extremists [in Congress], we can handle it,” Jackson continued. “If we get an extremist in the role of attorney general, that would be a radical departure from anything we have seen in this state before.”

Jackson also repeatedly mentioned several of Bishop’s controversial social media posts, such as him saying that a “reckoning is coming for our gangster government” and that he called the 2020 election “rigged.”

Jackson also criticized Bishop for other comments he’s made that are critical of the federal government or federal law enforcement.

“That’s a lot of law-and-order talk for someone who said ‘We must smash the FBI into a million pieces,’” Jackson said. “That’s who we’re dealing with here.”

According to WFAE, Bishop didn’t address many of the statements he has made on social media.

Bishop attacked Jackson’s voting record and accused him of being a left-wing extremist. He also claimed that Jackson would use the attorney general’s office to further his political agenda by refusing to represent the state in lawsuits involving legislation that he disagrees with, just as current Attorney General Josh Stein and Gov. Roy Cooper (when he was attorney general) did in some lawsuits, such as those involving reproductive rights, voting rights and LGBTQ+ issues.

“That is the very end of law in this nation if that is permitted to continue,” Bishop said. “That is wrong.”

According to WFAE, Jackson quickly shut Bishop down.

“Speaking of the end of law in this nation, all of that … speech was just given to you by someone who voted against certifying the last election,” Jackson said. “He was a lawyer. He knew better. He decided to pander to the people who stormed the Capitol.”

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