As we keep saying in these Spotlights, we in Americans for Democratic Action recognize the difference between a majority and a functioning majority. That is why we are determined to not only maintain but to expand the liberal majority in Congress. And, that is why we keep focusing our attention on pivotal states like North Carolina. Today, we shine our Spotlight on North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District which features a match-up between political newcomer, Republican Bo Hines, who was endorsed by the former President, and Democratic state senator Wiley Nickel. It is also the perfect picture of stark contrasts.
Bo Hines is nothing if not ambitious and determined, it seems, to start at the top and work his way down. The 26 year old political neophyte played college football at North Carolina State University before transferring to Yale because he thought it would help his political ambitions.  He, then, enrolled in the Wake Forest School of Law “to escape the leftist propaganda of the Ivy League.” Determined to find a place to run, he also transferred from his home in Winston-Salem to the 13th Congressional District which he deemed his best opportunity after redistricting. His campaign website is long on platitudes and short on detail but what it does say is very telling.  Another anti-choice, pro-gun candidate, he proudly states that he is 100% pro-Trump. His website features a picture of a gun and he says, “I am as pro-gun as it gets.” He believes in the “America First” trope but we doubt he knows or understands its historic context. He says, “I believe that life begins at conception…in traditional marriage …protect our core family values that are rooted in biblical principles.” He also believes in term limits and, in this case, so do we because we fervently hope that his term is limited to zero. If the events of the last couple of weeks have taught us nothing else, they have taught us that we cannot afford to have candidates of this type elected to Congress.  
The Democratic nominee is state senator Wiley Nickel who, in fairness, also lived outside of the newly-drawn district – but just barely. He is widely known there. He was first elected to the state senate in 2018 and won re-election in 2020. Nickel is a criminal defense attorney who worked in both the Gore and Obama presidential campaigns. He has been endorsed by both Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). In contrast to Hines, Nickel’s website has a section devoted to issues and offers details not simple platitudes. He wants to work to ensure that corporations pay their fair share in taxes and to increase the minimum wage to at least $15/hour. He is in favor of the For the People Act and vows to get dark money out of politics. He favors a strong public education system including universal pre-K and access to an affordable college education for all who want it. He worked to expand Medicaid in North Carolina and pledges to work to lower drug costs and for universal health care. He strongly opposes any legislation that would limit a woman’s reproductive health care options. He is “passionate about bold solutions that will combat the climate crisis.” He supports common sense gun safety measures including universal background checks, red flag laws, safe gun storage laws and a ban on high-capacity magazines.  He recognizes the need for a strong Labor movement and opposes “right to work” legislation and promises to support the PRO Act.
Although the state leans Republican, it remains a swing state and this is a must-win district. We are determined to do everything we can to make that happen. Therefore, ADA and our sister organization, the ADA Education Fund, are planning a voter education and get out the vote campaign in North Carolina bolstered by a soon-to-be hired organizer who will gear up for the mid-term elections and keep organizing after to election to continue to educate and mobilize for the future.
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