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13th Congressional District

Incumbent Ted Budd, a two-term House Republican, is running against Democrat Scott Huffman for the district, which includes the solidly red counties that stretch from the northern suburbs of Charlotte to Greensboro.

By Liora Engel-Smith

Ted Budd, Incumbent, Republican from Davie County

Age: 48

Campaign Website

Facebook page

Political experience: Budd is in his second term in the U.S. House. He was a political newcomer prior to his initial run in 2016.

Education/personal: Budd owns a gun range and store. A graduate of Appalachian State University, Budd also has a master of business administration from Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Amy Kate, have three children.

Campaign contributions: As of June 30, Budd had raised $1,688,733 for his campaign, spent     $731,627 and had $1,027,345 on hand, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Scott Huffman, Democrat from Cabarrus County

Age: Unknown

Campaign website

Facebook page

Political experience: Huffman’s campaign site says that he became involved in politics in 2016.  His website notes he served as a military liaison officer for former Congressman Bill Hefner and has spent time as part of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Board of Directors.

Education/personal: Huffman, who grew up in Spencer, describes himself as a Navy veteran and small business owner on his campaign site. He and his wife, Karen, have three children.

Campaign contributions: As of June 30, Huffman had raised $79,012 for his campaign, spent $62,626 and had $17,653 on hand, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act: 

The candidates toe party lines on the issue of the Affordable Care Act. Budd said he would like to repeal and replace the Obama-era law and has opposed Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.

Huffman supports both Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act as a way to stabilize soaring health care costs and protect rural hospitals, which have borne much of the brunt of the state’s uninsured population.

The opioid crisis: 

Budd, who was first elected in 2017, has made the opioid crisis one of his top issues in Washington. He sponsored several bills to expand treatment options, reduce the stigma surrounding addiction, and expand housing options for people with substance use disorders.

Huffman said the federal government needs to invest more funds in combating the crisis and that North Carolina should receive a greater share of the money. If elected, he said he would support the expansion of addiction services, among other mental health treatments.

Coronavirus vaccination/ masks

Budd, who in July touted the role of a laboratory in his district in the coronavirus vaccine race, supports Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration’s push to produce a vaccine for the novel virus as soon as possible. Budd does not appear to have spoken publicly about the role of masks in mitigating the pandemic but has sponsored a bill to produce personal protective equipment in the United States. He also published an opinion piece against the use of personal protective equipment in abortions at the height of the pandemic.

While Huffman supports Gov. Roy Cooper’s mask mandate, he said he has reservations about the coronavirus vaccine because he does not trust the Trump Administration. If a vaccine became available before the November elections, he added, he wouldn’t get vaccinated right away.

Rural health care financing

Budd was among the many sponsors of a bill that provides emergency support to rural facilities amidst the coronavirus crisis. The bill remains in committee and has not yet passed in the House or Senate. His social media accounts do not appear to include any comments on rural health and his campaign did not respond to an interview request.

Huffman said that rural hospitals — including the embattled Randolph Health facility in the district — suffer because North Carolina did not expand Medicaid, placing an undue financial burden on smaller facilities that serve many uninsured people. If elected, he said he would support an emergency grant program to help stabilize hospitals in the state.