Below the belt: Vulgarity, divisiveness push NC political discourse to a new low

North Carolina’s known as a purple state where fierce partisan divide is the norm, but after two high-profile politicians — one a former NC-11 candidate and the other the current lieutenant governor — prompted outrage with recent vulgarities, their respective parties are stuck in a tough spot and facing difficult decisions over how to respond. 

Super PAC formed to oppose Cawthorn

Retired Air Force Col. Moe Davis may have lost to Madison Cawthorn in last year’s General Election, but that doesn’t mean he’s done speaking out against the young conservative firebrand. 

Buncombe Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara wants Madison Cawthorn’s seat

Some people will say a gay woman who’s a Christian minister just can’t get elected in the South.

Fierce campaign divides Mark Meadows’ old district

Those who hadn’t learned through backchannels a day or two beforehand found out early on a cold mountain morning late last winter that Mark Meadows was out. 

War of words: Race to replace Mark Meadows takes an ugly turn

The major party candidates seeking the NC11 congressional seat recently left vacant by former Rep. Mark Meadows spent much of the first two debates attacking each other and defending themselves against those attacks, but now that controversial tweets by one of them have resurfaced, there’s even more focus on how the current partisan discord is turning modern political discourse into a war of words that can never be won. 

Demonstrators greet Cawthorn before debate

Around 30 demonstrators affiliated with a group called Sunrise North Carolina showed up to a congressional forum held by Southwestern Community College in Sylva on Sept. 9, but they weren’t there to watch — they were there to sound off against the environmental positions of Republican candidate Madison Cawthorn.

Debate Fact-Checker: Zingers, Jabs and Lies

Congressional candidates’ claims rated for truthfulness

By Sally Kestin and Peter H. Lewis
AVL Watchdog

In their first public face-off, the candidates vying for the increasingly competitive 11th district congressional seat, Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis, touted their differences on just about all issues and hurled accusations, with each calling the other “fast and loose” with the facts. Who was telling the truth? AVL Watchdog fact-checked some of the claims made at the Sept. 4-5 debates at Western Carolina University and rated them as true, false or misleading.

N.C. 11 candidates face off

Congressional candidates Moe Davis and Madison Cawthorn clashed last week in a pair of debates spanning two days and three hours, covering everything from health care and economics to gun rights and race relations. 

Cawthorn’s claims about Davis are ridiculous

Keep electing people who are ideologically too far left or right to reach across the aisle, and we’ll have the same kind of Congress we have today: divided, ineffective, laughable. So despite Madison Cawthorn trying to brand himself as a new face of conservatism, many of his statements since winning the 11th District GOP primary reveal a young man with a narrow, hard-right world view that may make him the darling of a certain segment of his party but will do little to help those in his district or help get Congress moving in a positive direction.

Best in the West: Blue Ridge Public Radio, Mountain Xpress and Smoky Mountain News to host two-day NC11 candidate forum

Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis, candidates for the North Carolina congressional seat left vacant by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have both agreed to appear at a two-day joint forum hosted by three of the district’s largest media outlets.

Page 1 of 2
Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.