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Rivals endorse Cawthorn in runoff

Madison Cawthorn, who finished a strong second in the Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District, on Wednesday announced the support of four Republicans who finished behind him and confirmed that he will call for a runoff.

“I am calling for a runoff,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind the people of Western North Carolina are sick and tired of watching the politicians trying to force their will upon us and every single vote that was cast against Lynda Bennett was a vote against what Mark Meadows has done.”
Republicans in the race were furious that Meadows endorsed Bennett, a close friend of him and his wife, after telling other candidates he would not endorse anyone in the primary.
“I think everybody respects Mark Meadows and the work they do but nobody wants a coronation in this country,” Cawthorn said. “I think he’s a rally great man. I think he’s done a great job for us but I do believe putting his weight behind Bennett was inappropriate.”

Cawthorn, 24, and Bennett will meet in a runoff May 12. Bennett did not return a phone call seeking comment on the runoff and the remarks of Cawthorn and others about the congressmen's actions.
Two candidates, Joey Osborne and Dillon Gentry, announced their endorsement of Cawthorn on Wednesday and state Sen. Jim Davis confirmed that he is committed to helping Cawthorn in the western counties. Vance Patterson also is endorsing Cawthorn.
Davis “told me he doesn’t believe incumbent politician should be endorsing anyone so he’s not endorsing because of that fact, but he does say he will support, not endorse. He’s staying true to his word by not endorsing anybody. He has said he will support me and help me out by garnering support in the seven western counties” he represents in the state Senate.
Davis has served in office for 20 years — 10 as a Macon County commissioner and 10 in the state Senate, and was the only candidate among 20 from four parties that had served in elective office.
“From the time that I filed I thought I was the most qualified candidate but the voters didn’t agree,” Davis said. “It shows that a lot of money and the endorsement from Mark Meadows make a big different. My wife and I figure it’s a sign from the Lord to slow down and that’s what I plan to do.” He confirmed he will support Cawthorn.
“Yes, I’m going to help — introduce him to people in the west,” he said.
Like at least two other Republicans in the primary, Davis said it was inappropriate for Meadows to endorse Bennett, “especially after he told people that he wasn’t going to do it.”
Cawthorn said he thought his ability to clearly articulate a conservative vision is the difference between him and Bennett.
“In a primary runoff we’re speaking to the exact same crowd,” he said. “I believe Mrs. Bennett and I share a lot of the same views when it comes to policies. We want conservative government. What I believe the people are going to have to decide is who do they think is best going to be able to executive that vision. I’m uniquely qualified to do that better than her. Mainly because I can garner the support of the American people behind a certain bill. I’m able to articulate time-tested truths of conservative in a way that everyone understands in a simple and digestible way. I’ve faced diversity so I know when I face opposition of the D.C. club I know I won’t buckle.”
Osborne said Cawthorn’s youth and enthusiasm make him a “strategic” choice for to serve in Congress.
“After having the privilege of getting to know Madison and learning of his determination,
enthusiasm, skillset, knowledge and ability, I have no doubt that he is by far the best candidate
for the seat,” he said. “Madison Cawthorn’s future in government and beyond is extremely bright. Like the slate of young Federal Judges so strategically nominated by President Trump to preserve conservatism and democracy in America, Madison’s role in Congress will be no different. He easily has the potential to serve, promote and protect conservative causes for fifty or more years. Electing Madison Cawthorn to the U.S. Congress in 2020 is an extremely strategic move that those of us who are committed to the preservation of true conservatism must seize upon.”
Gentry, 27, of Banner Elk, also endorsed Cawthorn.
“As of now, it appears there will be a runoff… I will gladly throw what little weight I have behind Madison Cawthorn for Congress,” Gentry said. Cawthorn, he said, represents “the new generation of conservatives needs someone to look to and show them it’s ok to think outside the mainstream; outside what your professors and intolerant peers want you to believe. We need someone that understands the challenges faced on the digital public square, that understands how these platforms work, how to utilize them, and how to ensure the new information distribution systems aren’t fully lost to the left forever, shutting out dissenting rational voices.”
Gentry added: “The truth of this election is this: Madison is the only candidate that can accomplish what needs to be done. We need someone in that seat that is more than a placeholder, more than someone that just wants their ego inflated and to be invited to elitist dinner parties.”