By Clint Parker
Leicester – Republican 11th congressional Candidate Madison Cawthorn hobnobbed with supporters on Friday night out in the Leicester community. The Henderson native is facing a runoff with the other GOP candidate for the seat, Lynda Bennett.
Cawthorn, 24, after conversing one-on-one with attendees addressed the gathering saying that money from outside a candidate’s district should not be allowed and there needs to be term limits on holding office. “There’s so much money flowing into the district from out of state; it’s a shame!” He went on to say, “Number one we have to get term limits on Congress.” The initial primary attracted about 11 candidates for the GOP side and since neither candidate obtained the votes needed to win the nomination outright, there is a runoff on June 23rd with early voting already underway.
He talked about how the excitement of 2016 was lost as Congress did nothing. He looked for change, “but that just didn’t happen and I realized that it’s because we have just as many career politicians on the right as they do on the left.”
Matthew Burril, a former 11th Congressional candidate himself, spoke that leadership in Washington wanted Cawthorn in Congress. “They are pulling for this guy. They want this guy there…We have a whole group of leadership who wants him there,” he said. According to Burril, Cawthorn will be “the face of the Republican Party” if they can get him elected.
“If Lynda Bennett goes to Congress, she’ll sit on the back row. She’ll show up every fifth or sixth day and that’s maybe it. She will be a rubber stamp for Mr. Jeff Jordan. She’ll be a rubber stamp for Mr. Ted Cruz and that’s alright, isn’t it? No! They don’t represent me! That man [indicating Cawthorn] will,” Burril told the crowd.
The Tribune asked Cawthorn what made him run for office, and he replied, “2016 when we took the house and senate and the republicans just didn’t do anything. I feel like we need someone who’s going to go up there and execute on what we promised.”
Asked what does he sees as the major issue facing the country he said the economy and civil unrest. He said the same in the 11th district. Asked what makes him uniquely qualified for the position, Cawthorn explained, “Effectiveness, I think I’m the only person to go up and in his freshman term, have enough influence and power to push a bill through congress.” Specifically, bring more internet infrastructure in the form of broadband to every home in the district.
Asked about his opponent’s ads claiming he was a “partier” and saying he’s never held a job, he responded, “I see why she won’t meet me in a debate because the only way she thinks she can win is just by lying and she doesn’t want me to call her out on it. If she won’t debate a fellow 24-year-old conservative, how will she ever defeat an Air Force prosecutor.” Cawthorn was speaking of the Democrat challenger for the seat. He went on to say that he was the CEO of a real estate investment company and motivational speaker.