Saying he thinks he can “offer more to the citizens of western North Carolina as a senator than as a first-year congressman,” Franklin Republican Kevin Corbin has stepped down from the midst of Republicans supposed to seek the seat of the 14th Congressional District.
Corbin is in his third term in the North Carolina General Assembly and his first in the Senate, after years of service as Macon County commissioner and school board member. In his two legislative elections, he won the ballot with a total of over 72%. Last year, Corbin won the Senate seat from retired Franklin Republican Jim Davis with 66 percent of the vote in a district that includes much of the 14th Congressional District.
“I thank everyone involved for helping to make this decision to be re-elected to the NC Senate and not to run for Congress at the moment,” Corbin said in a November 22 statement. “I won’t say ‘never,’ but not now.
This decision came at a very short notice, as Corbin said he was unaware of Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s post-slicing plan to leave NC-14 and run in the new NC-13 until he heard about it in the media on November 11. Nominations for the 2022 elections begin on December 6 and end on December 17.
After consulting with family, friends and political analysts from Raleigh to Washington, Corbin felt that a victory was “very likely”, but that his prospects for continued Senate service would be more valuable to his seven-county Senate district, if he was re-elected. Next year.
“My first year term in the Senate has been extremely successful and I have worked extremely well with Representatives – [Karl] Gillespie, [Mike] Clampitt and [Mark] Pless – who have House seats in my current seven-county district, ”Corbin said. “Through hard work and relationship building, we have made more capital improvements in this neighborhood than we thought possible just a year ago.. “
Current Republican primary election field stands at four, after NCGOP District 14 chairman Michèle Woodhouse declared his intention to run on Nov. 18. Wendy Nevarez, Bruce O’Connell and Rod Honeycutt all launched their campaigns months before Cawthorn’s announcement.
A trio of Senators, Deanna Ballard (R-Watagua), Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) and Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) are reportedly still interested. Ballard and Hise were drawn to the same Senate district, so a decision from either of them would make sense.
Six Democrats are also vying for the seat, which, based on the 2020 vote total for Donald Trump, is still a +8 for Republicans.