North Carolina’s 7th Congressional Race
North Carolina state legislator Charles Graham is looking to unseat Congressman David Rouzer in a battle for North Carolina’s seventh congressional district during this November’s midterm election.
In a race that will help determine which party controls the US House of Representatives, in-person early voting begins on Oct. 20 and ends on Nov. 5. For those wishing to vote by mail, a request for an absentee ballot can be made up until Nov. 1.
All absentee ballots must be returned by Election Day, which is Nov. 8.
- Age: 50
- Occupation: US Congressman, North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District
- Maritime status: single
- Education: NC State University, Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Business Management and Agricultural Economics: Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry.
- Political Affiliation: Republican
- Age: 71
- Occupation: Retired educator, small business owner
- Maritime status: Married with kids
- Education: UNCP BS Appalachian State, MEd, Lehigh University Eds
- Political Affiliation: Democrat
What are the top three issues affecting your district?
Rouzer: Rampant inflation and higher energy bills are hurting the local economy and hitting working families hard. Addressing GenX and other PFAS contaminants without drastically increasing water rates are significant challenges for our local communities as well. Congress and the Executive branch must roll back the regulatory hurdles that have been put in place to discourage oil and gas production and make permanent the 2017 tax reform provisions that incentivize investment, productivity and work. Meanwhile, I have sponsored and worked to shepherd through a number of provisions to address GenX and other PFAS contaminants in our water.
Graham: Inflation. It is vital we keep costs down for everyone. Corporate greed is impacting everyone’s wallet and that is unacceptable. Access to healthcare. In the North Carolina General Assembly I was the lead sponsor of a Medicaid Expansion bill here in North Carolina. Expanding access to healthcare helps our rural hospitals and creates healthier, happier, and more productive individuals. Clean Drinking Water and Holding Polluters Accountable. Forever chemicals are harming the water supply and individuals all across this district. That is unacceptable and we need to strengthen measures protecting our clean drinking water.
If elected, how will you improve the lives of your constituents?
Rouzer: The principles that made America great must survive or our nation will be no more. You cannot have liberty without morality, and you cannot have economic freedom and prosperity without liberty. If you work you should be better off than if you don’t work, and you always get more of what you incentivize. Given these fundamental truths, I will continue to promote and vote for policies promoting work, investment, fiscal discipline, a secure border, energy dominance, traditional family values, a strong military, our veterans, our beaches & waterways, our farm families, and a federal government that protects our constitutional rights.
Graham: From day one my priorities will be to attract quality jobs, reign in inflation, and fight to expand access to healthcare. No hard worker should ever be forced to choose between paying their electric bill and putting food on the table. In Washington I will work with anyone to make our communities safer, expand opportunities for work, and most importantly work to address the affordable housing crisis and encourage affordable housing development here in Wilmington and New Hanover County.
What plans do you have to help secure funding for infrastructure projects such as a replacement for the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge?
Rouzer: Federal formula funds and some federal grant funds help states and local governments build and improve roads and bridges, but determination of whether a project moves forward is strictly state and local. Local stakeholders are working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to take the steps necessary for consideration and action by the state. The project must rank high enough against other projects statewide with revenue sources identified and agreed upon along with clearing all environmental reviews. I have worked, and will continue to work, with state and local officials to support the advancement of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.
Graham: In the legislature I fought to deliver millions of dollars to Southeastern North Carolina. This includes funding for flood resiliency, new infrastructure projects, a workforce development center in Robeson County, and much more. In Raleigh, I have put party aside to deliver for the needs of my community. I would do the same in Congress and would work with county and municipal leaders to find funding to replace the aging Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. We need a consensus builder, not a divider. I am that candidate.
What is your stance on abortion?
Rouzer: I am pro-life and will always fight for the rights of the most vulnerable among us who cannot speak for themselves. Congress has traditionally prohibited federal taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions here or in other countries, and I will continue to work to keep these provisions intact.
Graham: I respect the privacy of women and their healthcare providers to make their own medical decisions. I believe that abortions should be safe and legal. In Washington I would never infringe on a woman’s healthcare privacy.
What qualities make you the best candidate?
Rouzer: My background in agriculture, business and sales, policy, and legislative affairs, including as a former state senator in the North Carolina General Assembly, have enabled me to represent, bring positive attention to, and get a number of policy provisions enacted for this Congressional district and the state of North Carolina during my time of service in the US House of Representatives. My experience, knowledge base, and desire to listen and learn from those of all walks of life better equip me to help address the many challenges we face as a nation and the issues impacting our communities.
Graham: I am a small business owner and a lifelong educator of exceptional children. As a legislator, I have a proven track record of putting partisanship aside and delivering for my communities. We need someone in Congress who can make a difference and build consensus. Too many people in Southeastern North Carolina are being left behind and they need someone who will fight for them. I have delivered over half a billion dollars for my District in the legislature and I know that I can deliver for Southeastern North Carolina. Imagine all that is possible if we had a congress member who put partisanship aside and just got to work. I know I can do that.