New voting map strikes blow to challenge of Cawthorn's candidacy

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The newly approved congressional voting map for North Carolina is giving Rep. Madison Cawthorn a small victory over the group of voters wanting to disqualify him because of his involvement in the January 6th riot.

In a letter, the Board of Elections says simply that because the voters don't live in the newly drawn 13th district, they, therefore, have no power to challenge his candidacy.

Last year, Cawthorn filed to run in what was a voting district that included parts of Mecklenberg and Cleveland counties. The new map, however, makes District 13 the Wake, Johnston, Harnett counties map.

Technically, Cawthorn has not withdrawn his candidacy for District 13, so if the primary were today he'd be on the ballot in the Triangle.

He has until March 1 to withdraw his name and file for candidacy in another district closer to his home out west. If and when that happens, those voters may choose to file a new challenge to his candidacy.

In January, left-leaning North Carolina voters urged the State Board of Elections to disqualify Cawthorn because of his participation in the Jan. 6 rally in Washington that preceded a violent riot on Capitol Hill. Cawthorn, the youngest member currently serving in Congress, sued three weeks later claiming the statute violated his First Amendment rights.

Since his election in 2020, the 26-year-old has emerged as one of the most outspoken conservatives in the House. Though he earlier condemned the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol--and recognized President Joe Biden as the legitimate winner of the election--he has since become a vociferous defender of former President Donald Trump and his claims of widespread election fraud.

NOTE: Video is from a previous report.
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