U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn meets with supporters. Photo courtesy of WLOS.

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by Hannah Mackenzie, WLOS

ASHEVILLE — U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-District 11, said he is switching districts and will run for a congressional seat in the newly drawn NC District 13. Cawthorn made the announcement on social media Thursday night.

Asheville and much of far Western North Carolina will now be included in the newly created 14th Congressional District. A portion of Watauga County will also now be in the 14th District. McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties have been moved to the 13th District.

“I will be running for Congress in the 13th Congressional District,” Cawthorn said. “This move is not an abandonment. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It is a move to take more ground for constitutional conservatism. In my heart, I represent North Carolina as a whole, not some arbitrary line that some politician drew this cycle. This was not an easy decision.”

Prior to Cawthorn’s announcement about which district he would run in, several candidates who planned to run against him said, either way, it doesn’t matter.

“I didn’t get into the race dependent on incumbent or non-incumbent. I got into the race to run as rod Honeycutt. I welcome anyone who comes or leaves,” Republican candidate Rod Honeycutt said. “We’re going to continue the same strategy. We’re running on maturity, leadership, education and knowledge and experience. We’re going to continue to run on that.”

Democratic candidate Eric Gash said, “I know what I’m running for. I know why I entered this race, and it’s to make sure that folks hear what our concerns are and they are education, economy and environment. (Cawthorn’s) reasons for possibly running away to another district, I leave that to them.”

Republican candidate Wendy Nevarez said, “I think he is not one person thinking for himself. It’s an establishment thing, and people want to get the majority. So, they’re willing to move people around in the broader scheme of things.”

Democratic Jasmine Beach-Ferrara said, “Cawthorn has prioritized both an extremist agenda that is absolutely out of touch with the values of Western North Carolina and building his own political brand through stunts and headline grabbing efforts over his responsibilities as an elected official.”

The filing period runs Dec. 6-17.

Carolina Public Press editor’s note: North Carolina’s newly congressional districts face multiple legal challenges that could result in different districts or a different filing and election schedule.

WLOS

WLOS ABC 13 is the ABC affiliate based in Asheville, N.C., and covers much of Western North Carolina. Check your local listings for news programming, or visit WLOS.com.