RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Tar Heel State continues to play a prominent role in the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Indeed, the RNC's opening day in Charlotte perhaps set the tone for the quadrennial confab, with surprise appearances by both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The roster of speakers, though, also reflects the campaign's prioritizing North Carolina as a keystone to the president's reelection.
"President Trump really values North Carolina," Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old from Asheville running for Congress, told ABC11. "One, he obviously values the electoral votes he gets out of it. He knows it's a state he can win. But I think he values the value system of the people of NC. They're very rugged and individualistic."
Cawthorn's surprise win in the primary put him in a strong position to succeed Mark Meadows, the former Congressman who now serves as President Trump's Chief of Staff. Though he didn't have Meadows' or Trump's endorsement in the primary, he certainly does now.
"I want to be about 'Dining Room Politics,'" Cawthorn said. "I don't want to talk incremental GDP growth at the end of the year. I want to make sure my brother's kids are going to go to bed safely, have food on the table, and they have a good country we pass on to them."
The young Republican's stock certainly got an exponential booth when he was tapped to speak Wednesday night at the RNC. Cawthorn called the experience "surreal."
"I'm not afraid to have a debate about the environment because I'm a conservative," he said. "I want to conserve things and I want to be a good steward of the earth. I want to have to debate about the economy because I want to lower taxes and more money into the pockets of people. I'm happy to talk about social issues because I don't care. The government shouldn't care."
As for what he envisions on the convention's final night, Cawthorn is confident in the President making a successful pitch to voters across North Carolina.
"I believe in this president and I believe he's going to have a message that unites most of America."