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With redistricting, the 6th district has become more competitive for Democrats. Three-term incumbent Mark Walker stepped away from running, leaving this race wide open between two newcomers.
Lee Haywood, Republican from Summerfield
Political experience: Haywood has served as the chairman of the 6th district’s Republican Party chapter for the last two-and-a-half years. He’s a small business owner.
Education/personal: Haywood graduated from Southeast Guilford High School, according to his personal Facebook profile.
Campaign contributions: As of June 30, Haywood had raised $15,365 for his campaign, spent $8,279 and had $7,086 on hand, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Kathy Manning, Democrat from Greensboro
Political experience: Manning previously challenged GOP Rep. Ted Budd in the state’s 13th district in 2018. (Due to redistricting in 2019, a portion of the 13th district now lies in the 6th district.) She’s held leadership positions at several nonprofits, and is a small business owner and former immigration attorney.
Education/personal: Manning has a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Harvard University.
Campaign contributions: As of June 30, Manning had raised $1,374,827 for her campaign, spent $1,070,657 and had $309,823 on hand, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Kathy Manning’s campaign team responded to NC Health News’ request and provided links to her positions on her campaign website.
We did not receive a response from Lee Haywood’s campaign. He does not have health care listed as a central issue on his campaign website and as a new candidate, it’s more difficult to garner information about his positions than elected officials with past political records. However, he has provided his perspective on a few of these issues during interviews throughout this year.
Manning supports Medicaid expansion.
“North Carolina should join the 39 other states who have expanded Medicare to extend health coverage to more than 500,000 North Carolinians who are currently uninsured,” her website states. “This will allow us to reduce reliance on expensive emergency room visits by increasing access to doctors and medical professionals.”
“Her daughter suffers from a chronic illness and Kathy’s fight with the insurance companies to help her daughter get the medication she needs is one of the reasons that Kathy decided to run for office,” Hailey Barringer, Manning’s campaign manager, said in an emailed statement.
It’s unlikely Haywood supports Medicaid expansion as he has stated opposition to government involvement in the health care system.
“I would get the government out of the healthcare business completely and turn it over to the private sector and let the free market provide competitive options for coverage,” he wrote into iVoterGuide, formerly Heritage Alliance, a conservative Christian voter education site, earlier this year.
COVID-19 vaccines and mask wear
“Kathy adheres CDC guidance on COVID-19 precautions and strongly supports wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing hands regularly,” Barringer said in an emailed statement.
Haywood has previously said he supports mask wearing, and personally wears a mask when out in public.
“I think what it is is just conservatives are more independent,” Haywood previously told WXII12 when asked why he thinks masks have become a partisan issue. “They don’t like being told what to do.”
It’s not clear if he supports mask mandates. He repeatedly criticized Governor Roy Cooper’s shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Twitter earlier this year, but has not specifically commented on his mask order.
The fate of the Affordable Care Act
Haywood would like to repeal the ACA.
“Besides national security, by far the main issue facing people is our health care system,” he told Ballotpedia earlier this year. “Though there will always be a need for a government-funded safety net for those that suffer catastrophic health care issues, I would like to start over and implement a market-based system.”
Manning supports the Affordable Care Act, as well as the creation of a public option.
“Kathy will fight to protect people with pre-existing conditions and make health coverage more affordable,” her website states. “She will defend the Affordable Care Act from Republican cuts and support the creation of a public option.”
Manning promises to defend access to reproductive health services, including abortion.
“Kathy understands the importance of empowering women and girls, protecting access to health care, and fighting for a fair playing field for women. Kathy will never let the government come between a woman and her doctor and will fight to protect women’s reproductive rights.”
She also lists affordable child care and access to paid family leave as key campaign issues.
Haywood believes abortion should only be permitted if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. He opposes federal, state, and local funding for abortion providers, including those that offer other reproductive health services like Planned Parenthood.
“Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death,” he told iVoterGuide.
Manning supports continued funding for Medicare.
“Kathy is committed to ensuring Medicare and Social Security are protected for this generation and generations to come,” her website states. “Kathy strongly opposes any attempts to cut benefits for our seniors by privatizing Social Security. North Carolina seniors deserve the healthcare and retirement they have earned by working hard and playing by the rules.”
It’s not likely Haywood supports Medicare financing. He opposes government involvement in the health care system.