Madison Cawthorn will beat Lynda Bennett, a stunning upset in the race for the Republican nomination in the state’s 11th Congressional District.
According to his website, Cawthorn — who was partially paralyzed in a 2014 car crash — is a “constitutional conservative” who is “committed to defending the values of faith, family and the freedom that have made America great.” He is the owner of a real estate investment company and a motivational speaker, his website says.
Cawthorn will turn 25 in August, the constitutionally required age to serve in the House. If elected in November, he would become the youngest member in Congress, a title currently held by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is 30.
“Tonight, the voters of the 11th district of North Carolina said they’re ready for a new generation of leadership in Washington. You turned our message of hope, opportunity and freedom into a movement,” Cawthorn said in a statement Tuesday night.
“While the far left is lighting our cities on fire, we are lifting the light of liberty. Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden may not be able to control where the Democrats are going but, together, we can.”
Bennett has yet to concede in the race and her campaign did not return messages left by CNN on Tuesday night.
The President had sent out two tweets in support of Bennett earlier this month — something she touted heavily on her campaign website.
“She will be a great help to me in DC. EARLY VOTING STARTS TODAY. We need Lynda Bennett! #NC11”
Cawthorn, however, declared Tuesday evening, “I support our great president,” and said he does not believe “this election has been a referendum on the president’s influence.”
“The people of western North Carolina are wise and discerning. You observed both candidates and simply made the choice you believed is best for our district. I look forward to fighting alongside our president after I’m elected in November,” Cawthorn said.
And while Meadows had also endorsed Bennett, Cawthorn says on his website that Meadows nominated him to the US Naval Academy in 2014.
The plan was derailed, however, after the car accident left Cawthorn in a wheelchair.
“Madison’s ordeal built his faith, made him a fighter, helped him appreciate every day, and inspired him to help everyone he encounters overcome whatever adversity they face in their daily lives,” his website says.
Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, congratulated Cawthorn on the win.
“Mr. Cawthorn ran a fantastic campaign during the primary and the runoff, and we are completely confident that next January, he will be sworn in to represent the 11th District in the House of Representatives,” Whatley said. “He will be a great fighter for Smoky Mountain families and always put America first.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated.