Bishop, Huffman compete for new 8th District seat in Congress

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

ALBEMARLE — Stanly County sits in the geographic center of the new 8th Congressional District, which covers a total of eight counties. To the north are Davidson and Rowan, with half of Cabarrus to the west, Montgomery to the east, and Union, Anson, and part of Richmond to the south.

During the February filing period, only two candidates made their runs for the seat official: Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop, who currently represents the 9th Congressional District, and Democrat Scott Huffman, who has made unsuccessful runs for Congress in 2018 and 2020.

Stanly County’s current congressman, Republican Richard Hudson, opted to run in the redrawn 9th district, which runs from Randolph County down to Fort Bragg.

Bishop, who was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a 2019 special election, sits on the Homeland Security and Judicial committees.

He also served terms in both the N.C. House and Senate from 2015 until his election to Congress.

On his campaign website, Bishop cites law and order, lower taxes, national security, protecting the Second Amendment, and voter ID as his top issues. The NRA and the Club for Growth have endorsed Bishop’s for reelection.

Huffman, who lost to U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13) by a 68% to 31% margin in 2020, is a Navy veteran and has been active in Mecklenburg County’s Democratic Party, serving on the Board of Directors. On his campaign website, he says he started being active in local politics following the 2016 election.

A prolific Twitter user, Huffman regularly attacks Bishop for being “the most extreme MAGA GOP member” representing North Carolina in Congress. His top issues are affordable healthcare, strong public schools, and voting rights.

As of the second quarter reports to the Federal Election Commission, Bishop holds a significant advantage over Huffman. Bishop reported raising $1.5 million with $1.1 million on hand, with Huffman raising just $73,000 and has $13,000 on hand.

The district is seen as strongly Republican based on previous election results.

In 2020, former President Donald Trump won 66% of the vote to 32% for Joe Biden. Stanly County makes up 8.3% of the district. The largest county by population is Union, with 31%.

DecisonDeskHQ, a national elections website, rates the partisan lean of the district as R+19 and their current election model gives Bishop a greater than 99% chance of victory.