The 2017 election has barely ended and already the 2018 election is getting underway.
Tuesday, Dec. 5, the newly elected Greensboro City Council was sworn in and Wednesday, Dec. 6, Democrat Kathy Manning announced she would be running against Republican 13th District Congressman Ted Budd.
It appears it won’t be a pretty campaign. Before Manning officially made her announcement, the Ted Budd campaign posted an ad on its website titled “The Real Kathy Manning”
Budd’s ad reads, “Kathy Manning is an establishment Democrat who’s worked for decades alongside far-left Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, John Edwards and Barack Obama.”
The ad states, “Now, she is Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked candidate to run against me and buy this seat for their hard-core liberal agenda.”
Less than a month after he took office, Budd was placed on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s hit list of Republican congressmen it planned to go after. That means the Democrats are planning to pour money into the campaign in an attempt to defeat Budd and have been actively recruiting someone to run, so while it might be hyperbole to state that Manning is Pelosi’s “hand-picked candidate,” it is true that the Democrats have been actively recruiting an opponent to run against Budd.
Budd was supported by the conservative political action committee Club for Growth in 2016, which spent more than $285,000 on his behalf.
Manning doesn’t hold back on her announcement either. She states, “Unfortunately, Budd seems to be drowning in the partisan special interest swamp that is Washington.”
She states, “Budd supported tax breaks that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas and favored cuts to education and healthcare. That may be good for special interests, but it’s not good for North Carolina.”
Budd’s line about Manning trying to buy his seat may be the most telling, because all indications are millions will be spent on this campaign.
Manning recently raised over $38 million for the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts to be built in downtown Greensboro. It’s a remarkable amount of money to raise and even more remarkable when you consider that the original goal was $10 million. They kept moving the goal posts on Manning and she kept raising more money.
Budd, who had never run for election before 2016, defeated 16 candidates in the Republican primary – many far more well known and with a lot of political accomplishments. He won by raising and spending hundreds of thousands dollars more than his closest competitor. So Budd, who is from Advance and owns a gun shop, can raise money too.
This is Manning’s first foray into politics but she has been extremely active in the community.
Manning is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Law School. She was an attorney with what is now Smith, Moore, Leatherwood from 1989 to 2002 left to start her own law practice, Manning & Associates, which concentrated on immigration. Manning no longer practices law
She was a founding member of Triad Stage, is on the board of the Greensboro Symphony and created ArtBeat.
Manning was the first woman to chair the Jewish Federation of North America and has been chair of the Greensboro Jewish Federation and served on the board of B’nai Shalom Day School.
Manning is married to Randall Kaplan, one of the owners of the Elm Street Center, which will be the site of a Westin Hotel.
Budd is a graduate of Appalachian State University and has an MBA from Wake Forest University. He owns a gun shop and shooting range in Rural Hall and lives on the family farm in Advance. Budd’s family owns the Budd Group, a facility services business with locations throughout the Southeast.
The 13th District includes most of western Greensboro and stretches southwest as far as Statesville and Mooresville. It was created for the 2016 election and had no incumbent. The district was designed with a Republican advantage. After winning the Republican primary with 20 percent of the vote against 16 other candidates, Budd won the general election over Democrat Bruce Davis with 56 percent of the vote.
Budd is a member of the House Freedom Caucus headed by Congressman Mark Meadows, which is an organization of the more conservative members of Congress.
Considering how poorly men did in the recent City Council election, it appears that recruiting a woman to run against Budd may have been a smart move.