Dan Bishop, a Republican who secured the seat on a narrow margin during a special election in 2019, is running against Democrat Cynthia Wallace for the district, which includes counties from Bladen and Cumberland to the east to a portion of Mecklenburg to the west. Last year, during the special election, the seat was competitive, will it be again this year?
By Liora Engel-Smith
Dan Bishop, Incumbent, Republican from Charlotte
Political experience: He served as a commissioner for Mecklenburg County from 2005-2009. Bishop also served one term in the North Carolina House and another in the state senate before his election to the U.S. House in 2019.
Education/personal: Bishop is a lawyer with a degree from UNC Chapel Hill. He has one son with his wife, Jo and lives in Charlotte.
Campaign contributions: As of June 30, Bishop had raised $3,351,914 for his campaign, spent $2,883,032 and had $468,883 on hand, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Cynthia Wallace, Democrat from Charlotte
Political experience: Wallace has served as the chair of the 9th Congressional District of the NC Democratic Party since January 2017, according to her campaign website.
Education/personal: Wallace, who grew up in rural Georgia, has had a 25-year career in the financial industry. A graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Wallace has a degree in mathematics. She also has a master of statistics from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
Campaign contributions: Wallace’s campaign finance information was not available, according to OpenSecrets.org. Her campaign finance files on the N.C. Board of Elections website do not show any donations as of the end of the second quarter.
Bishop, who spoke against coronavirus control measures at a Reopen NC protest in Raleigh this April, wore a mask at the protest but removed it to speak to the crowd. On his congressional coronavirus page, Bishop highlights the economic implications of the pandemic but has very little information about the disease itself or social distancing. The page also makes no mention of mask-wearing. Bishop also voted against a bill that would make coronavirus testing available to uninsured people.
Wallace spoke against Bishop’s apparent lack of social distancing at the Reopen NC protest. She also praised Gov. Roy Cooper’s response to the pandemic. She also said that she supports assistance to small businesses throughout the pandemic.
Affordable Care Act
Bishop said in 2019 that the health care law is a “disaster” and said he wanted to repeal and replace it.
Bishop opposes Medicaid expansion in North Carolina and supports increased competition in the health care market to promote affordable health care, but he has not provided details.
Wallace has expressed support for a public option added to the ACA, “ that will help states like ours where they have refused to expand Medicaid.”
Rural health financing
Bishop said that rural hospitals will not be aided by expanding Medicaid because the reimbursement rates the program offers are so low.
Wallace, who herself grew up in a rural area, said she will support measures that strengthen these parts of her district, including increasing access to health care.