On December 2nd the North Carolina Superior Court ruled that the newly drawn maps generated in November by the state legislature will be the maps used for the 2020 congressional elections. With these new district maps, I have been drawn out of the 2nd Congressional District and am now a resident of the 4th Congressional District, which is represented by David Price, an incredible public servant and truly one North Carolina’s finest statesmen.
Our campaign wasn’t about simply getting elected. It was about ensuring my family, friends, and neighbors would be represented by someone who shares our values, which Congressman Price does. Therefore we are suspending our campaign, filled with gratitude for your support over the last eight months.
I believe that we had a clear path to unseating Representative George Holding and working in Washington on behalf of our fellow North Carolinians. But as I learned from many years in the Marine Corps, no good plan survives first contact, and one must always be clear-eyed about the facts on the ground.
I’m grateful to all of you for your belief in me. As I said many times, this campaign was at its core about an idea – the notion that we all must contribute to our communities and our country, in every chapter of our lives; that we don’t have the luxury of being apathetic or cynical; and that citizenship isn’t a spectator sport.
I decided to run for Congress because I saw that many of our fellow North Carolinians seemed to have lost faith in the political process, and no longer believed that there are good people who will be public servants of integrity – people who will be true leaders. The campaign was a part of my effort to change that perception, and my life’s work will continue to be the fulfillment of that idea.
From Louisburg to Lillington, from Raleigh to Rocky Mount, from Holly Springs to Smithfield, I came to know many of you like old friends, and you never ceased to inspire and invigorate me (and also challenge me on every topic under the sun).
This is not the end of my service. My entire life has been dedicated to serving my country. I still believe in electing people who share our values of integrity, dedication, and service. I intend to spend the coming months working hard to help many of my fellow North Carolina Democrats win their elections, from the reelections of Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein to Democrats running for our General Assembly. And, I am all too aware that there will once again be new congressional maps for 2022, maps that will likely include an additional seat for North Carolina and that promise new opportunities.
Thank you for being part of this action of citizenship. I often told a story about the most significant election of my life, one that took place in the autumn of 2005, when I helped to secure polling sites in Iraq. Many of you remember people posing for photos with their purple ink-stained thumbs signifying that they had voted. For most it was the first free election of their lives.
I know how fortunate I am to live in a country where we just assume that we will enjoy the right of the franchise.
I pray that we can remember in this moment that we are more alike than different, that we are citizens of a country of shared ideals, and that we owe each other our respect, as long as our character merits respect.
I look forward to seeing all of you in the coming months, perhaps on the campaign trail for a North Carolina Democrat. As I reminded you often, remember that you can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time. This is a moment to roll up our sleeves.