ALBEMARLE — For his 25th stop on his “100 Town Halls, 100 Days” tour, North Carolina state Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-37) visited Albemarle’s Rock Creek Park on June 17 to meet with potential voters for his 2022 U.S. Senate campaign.
The 38-year-old Charlotte resident and Chapel Hill native is now a quarter of the way through his goal of holding a town hall in every county in the state, a grassroots plan that commenced on May 22 and runs through Aug. 29.
“This is a true 100-county campaign which hasn’t been done in a long time,” Jackson told a crowd of around 60 people. “You can win statewide by just focusing on five or six counties, but is it the right thing to do? It is not.”
While Jackson has represented Mecklenburg County in the N.C. Senate’s 37th District during the last seven years, his latest mission is to replace retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr in the U.S. Senate.
Former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley joins Jackson as one of the four Democrats campaigning for the spot. Beasley has generally led in polls, but Jackson is often close behind — like in an April 22 Cardinal Analytics poll with Beasley at 32% and Jackson at 26%.
On the Republican side, U.S. Rep Ted Budd (R-NC13) has received Donald Trump’s endorsement, as well as other prominent North Carolina politicians like U.S. Rep Dan Bishop (R-NC9. Former governor and Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory is another major candidate in the running for Burr’s seat and led in early polling.
“You deserve so much better than what you have gotten from your U.S. senators. I want to take your expectations and raise them while reversing everything you’ve seen,” Jackson said in a speech that covered topics as wide as healthcare-system reform and public education funding to climate change and the “For the People Act” voting rights bill.
When asked where his political alignment stands within the Democratic Party, with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to the right and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the left, Jackson said he is “in between them.”
“We are trying to run a highly transparent campaign to let you decide for yourself, based on specific questions, where you think I am — I also have a big record,” Jackson said. “One of the benefits of being the candidate with the most legislative experience is that you can look up where I’ve been on these issues the past seven years.”
The congressman took a question about the U.S. national debt, claiming that Republicans in Congress “have completely abandoned any attachment they’ve had to fiscal responsibility.”
“I care about deficits and I know that not everybody seems to,” Jackson continued. “I’m 38 with young kids, and I have to assume that having these enormous debts is going to end up mattering, especially if we don’t have the historically low interest-rate situation that we’ve enjoyed for the last decade.”
Back on Jan. 26, Jackson officially announced his U.S. senatorial bid and town hall tour — two days later, he reported that his campaign had raised over $500,000 in less than 48 hours, with 90% of contributions coming from North Carolinians and 78% of donations being under $100.
Prior to entering the legislative branch of the state government, Jackson graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and became a Gaston County assistant district attorney. He is currently an attorney at the Charlotte office for the Womble Bond Dickinson law firm.
Jackson also serves as a JAG Corps captain with the Army National Guard. This is only the latest stage of his military career, since Jackson enlisting in the United States Army Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks.