Eight candidates running in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) is running for the U.S. Senate and is not seeking re-election.

The boundaries of North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District changed as a result of redistricting, with the new district including all of Johnston County as well as parts of Harnett, Wake, and Wayne counties. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district map had an R+38 partisan lean, while the new map has an R+3 partisan lean.

WRAL’s Travis Fain said, “The district is one of the most competitive between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina, based on past election results.” As of April 12, three independent election forecasters considered the general election a Toss-up.

Bo Hines, Kelly Daughtry, Kent Keirsey, and Renee Ellmers have attracted the most media coverage.

Hines is a former college football player who interned for Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.). Hines has said there’s a need for younger voices in Congress. In his responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, Hines criticized incumbency and said he would sign a pledge not to serve more than four consecutive terms. “I’m a fresh new voice that will work to refurbish the Republican party. Incumbency has hurt our party and our country,” he wrote. Former President Donald Trump (R), the Club for Growth, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R), Madison Cawthorn (R), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) have endorsed Hines.

Daughtry is an attorney from Johnston County and the daughter of Leo Daughtry, the former Majority Leader of the North Carolina House of Representatives. She has highlighted inflation and deficit spending as key issues. Daughtry’s campaign website says, “Bidenomics is crushing the American economy and middle-class families. We will face grave financial danger if we do not address inflation and spending head-on.” Former Rep. George Holding (R), who represented District 13 from 2013 to 2017, has endorsed Daughtry.

Keirsey is a U.S. Army veteran and businessman. He has emphasized his military career and business experience throughout the campaign. Keirsey’s campaign website says, “While career politicians have legislated comfortably from Washington, Kent has been on the front lines. He led in combat and built businesses that address some of our country’s biggest challenges.” Senator Tom Cotton (R) endorsed Keirsey.

Ellmers is a registered nurse and a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District from 2011 to 2017. Ellmers has said her previous congressional experience would be an asset in Congress. Referring to gas prices, she said, “We don’t have time to wait for a learning curve to fix this mess. Experience is essential. I’ll start work on this the first day of the 118th Congress.”

Also running in the primary are DeVan Barbour IV, Jessica Morel, Chad Slotta, and Kevin Alan Wolff.

If no candidate wins more than 30% of the primary vote, a runoff will be held on July 26.