NEWLAND — Overcoming the endorsement of his opponent by both the sitting President of the United States Donald Trump and current White House Chief of Staff and previous Congressional seatholder Mark Meadows, Republican newcomer politician Madison Cawthorn was victorious in the North Carolina District 11 Second Primary on June 23 over fellow Republican Lynda Bennett.
Once Avery’s 19 precincts had all reported on Election Night, Cawthorn captured 600 total votes in Avery County compared to 422 for Bennett. Overall, 1,022 out of a possible 10,095 votes were cast in the Second Primary, equaling a turnout of 10.15 percent.
For the overall district, comprised of 17 western North Carolina counties, a little greater than 11 percent of total ballots were cast in the election, with Cawthorn garnering more than 65 percent of the vote to earn the decisive outcome.
“Tonight, the voters of the 11th district of North Carolina said they’re ready for a new generation of leadership in Washington. You turned our message of hope, opportunity and freedom into a movement. While the far left is lighting our cities on fire, we are lifting the light of liberty. Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden may not be able to control where the Democrats are going but, together, we can,” Cawthorn said in a victory statement following the unofficial election results. “Ours is not just a ‘grassroots’ campaign. Together, we are creating the deep roots of a solid oak tree which Abraham Lincoln compared to pillars of freedom. We can build new pillars all across this nation and prove Lincoln right when he said, ‘that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’”
Cawthorn also addressed the notion that evaluation of candidates rather than endorsements was the deciding factor in the voters’ voice of support.
“I want to make something clear; I support our great president. I do not believe this election has been a referendum on the president’s influence,” Cawthorn noted. “The people of western North Carolina are wise and discerning. You observed both candidates and simply made the choice you believed is best for our district. I look forward to fighting alongside our president after I’m elected in November.”
Cawthorn was homeschooled in Hendersonville and was nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy by Rep. Mark Meadows in 2014. However, Madison’s plans were derailed that year after he nearly died in a tragic automobile accident that left him partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
Cawthorn’s victory was lauded by the state’s GOP chair.
“The North Carolina Republican Party congratulates Madison Cawthorn on winning the Second Republican Primary in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District,” NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement on June 23. “Mr. Cawthorn ran a fantastic campaign during the primary and the runoff, and we are completely confident that next January, he will be sworn in to represent the 11th District in the House of Representatives. He will be a great fighter for Smoky Mountain families and always put America first.”
By law, all results are unofficial until canvassing takes place within 10 days of the election date.