14 candidates vie for NC-13 congressional district's GOP primary

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
14 candidates vie for NC-13 congressional district's GOP primary
With the redrawn map for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, it's a crowded field in the Republican primary.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In the redrawn North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, more than a dozen candidates are running in the Republican primary.

"The district has been redrawn so that it is basically a safe Republican district," Political Science Professor Steven Greene told ABC11 on Monday night.

Democrat Wiley Nickel held the seat before the maps were redrawn, but he is not running for re-election. The Democratic primary election was canceled, and Frank Pierce will run in the general election for the Democrats in November.

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The Republican challenger is still very much up in the air, with 14 candidates all vying for the seat. The only poll taken for this race was conducted in late January, and it showed Fred Von Canon in the lead with 21%, Kelly Daughtry in second with 17%, and Brad Knott, DeVan Barbour and Eric Stevenson rounding out the top five with single digit percentages.

Voter's Guide to NC Primary Election Day 2024

Greene said much has changed in this race since that poll was conducted.

"I'll be honest, in late January, I had not heard of Brad Knott, I have now heard of Brad Knott because I have seen his commercials on my TV -- a lot. Presumably Brad Knott was saving his ammunition, if you will, for a late push," Greene said. "Any other candidates who have been saving up for doing this push just before the March primary would not have been detected in that poll."

Greene said he believes this race will come down to name recognition, which is likely why you're seeing so many political ads in this race in particular.

If you want more information about each of the 14 candidates, we've written a short, non-exhaustive blurb about each below. For more information, their websites are all linked as well.

Fred Von Canon is a Navy veteran endorsed by the Freedom Caucus. He's an entrepreneur who's built successful businesses from scratch. He told ABC11 on Monday night that he's pro-gun, pro-life, pro-God, and pro-Trump and supports the America First Agenda.

Kelly Daughtry is a native North Carolinian who identifies as a conservative Republican and political outsider. Daughtry practices law in Johnston County, and fought an international Fortune 500 company when its product killed North Carolina farmers' tobacco crops.

Brad Knott is a prosecutor who labels himself as being tough on crime. He's also worked in law enforcement and grew up in Raleigh. He's pro-life, pro-gun, stands with Israel, and believes the border needs to be secured.

DeVan Barbour is a Johnston County native who lives on the family farm with his wife and children. He's served on the Johnston Community College Board of Trustees and as an RNC delegate. He's an avid hunter and fisherman who is pro-Trump.

Eric Stevenson served in the Navy for 20 years, deploying around the world and serving in leadership roles. He's also a husband and father.

Josh McConkey is a US Air Force Reserve colonel and a physician. He advocates for healthcare access and affordability, and creating policies that will increase access to mental health services in light of the opioid crisis. He also worked previously as an assistant professor at Duke University.

Kenny Xu is a pro-Trump son of Chinese immigrants who fights for merit-based admissions at elite universities. He told ABC11 Monday night that he led the lawsuit to defeat affirmative action at Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill. He's an advocate for ending CRT in schools, zeroing out DEI in the federal government, and securing the border.

Siddhanth Sharma is an accountant born in Raleigh who lives in District 13 and has lived in North Carolina his entire life. He wants to balance the budget, lower taxes, lower gas prices and put prayer back in schools.

Chris Baker is a commercial truck driver for a small business and is a native North Carolinian. He grew up in a blue-collar military family. He has a decade of government experience working as a Solutions Analyst in IT for the State of North Carolina. He told ABC11 that he believes in the American Dream, not the political machine.

Marcus Dellinger works as a project manager for a commercial construction company in Raleigh. He believes in balancing the national budget and cutting spending, closing our borders both physical and cyber, and conducting a full financial audit of the US government and Federal Reserve.

David Dixon has spent 15 years working in international higher education and is an NC State University grad. He lives in Garner and is actively involved in his church. He is pro-2nd amendment, pro-life, pro-capitalism, and pro-constitution.

Steve Von Loor is a first-generation Ecuadorian-American, and spent his formative years in Ecuador, before relocating to Durham at the age of 20. He's been active in the Republican party since 2008 when he said the election of President Barack Obama motivated his political engagement. He is pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-term limit.

Matt Shoemaker is a veteran intel officer who comes from a seventh-generation hard-working military and law enforcement family. He's an advocate for helping veterans transition into civilian life and raising PTSD awareness. He believes in balancing the budget to strengthen the dollar.

James Phillips promises to hold monthly town halls if elected, and pledges to spend one hour every morning personally answering phone calls from constituents. He also promises to hold frequent polls on issues relating to the district, and he promises that his votes will be dictated by the polls.