Who Is Madison Cawthorn? – CNNPolitics

The 24-year-old political newcomer, a staunch conservative who supports Trump, easily defeated his opponent Lynda Bennett with 65.82% of the vote, compared to Bennett’s 34.18%. Cawthorn’s victory was unexpected, with Bennett backed by Trump and Meadows and other high-profile endorsements by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.

Cawthorn, who was partially paralyzed in a car accident in 2014, is a property investment company owner and a motivational speaker. If elected in November, Cawthorn would become the youngest member of Congress, a record currently held by New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive upstart who took office when she was 29 years old. Cawthorn will be 25 in August. eligible to serve in the home.

“He is 24 years old, he is dynamic, he was able to articulate the ability to reach younger voters. Some have mentioned him as ‘the AOC of the right’. I do not know if that will be confirmed, but I think the generational piece is also key here, “said Chris Cooper, professor of political science at the University of Western Carolina.

Cooper said Cawthorn’s victory in the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina was not a rejection of Trump, noting that Cawthorn supports and is aligned with the President. He also said that ideologically, Cawthorn “is almost a carbon copy” of Bennett.

Cawthorn said Wednesday that Trump called him from Air Force One to congratulate him. He told MSNBC: “He was talking about how amazing a victory was, he defined it as ‘beautiful’, you know, just talking about how awesome it was that we were able to overcome so many big obstacles he did.”

Cawthorn is fiscally conservative, pro-life, pro-gun, and a tough line on immigration. It also supports term limits for members of Congress. Cawthorn says he is an eighth-generation resident of Congressional District 11, and was homeschooled in Hendersonville.

On his website, Cawthorn describes himself as a “constitutional conservative” who is “committed to upholding the values ​​of faith, family, and freedom that have made America great.” Cawthorn writes that he is running because “our faith, our freedoms, and our values ​​are being attacked by left-wing and coastal elites such as (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”

Michael Bitzer, professor of politics at Catawba College in North Carolina, said Cawthorn “recognizes the potential hole the Republican Party finds itself in based on generational dynamics.”

“The next generation of Republicans is making their presence known,” Bitzer said.

Bitzer said that due to the accident that put Cawthorn in a wheelchair, “he recognizes how much health care is a necessity in today’s environment.”

Cawthorn says on his website that he strongly opposes what he calls the Democrats’ plan for “socialized medicine,” and that he supports “expanding choice and competition in our health care system.”

While Meadows endorsed Cawthorn’s opponent for his old seat, Cawthorn says on his website that Meadows nominated him for the US Naval Academy. USA In 2014. His plans changed after the car accident later that year. Cawthorn writes on his website that he is running to continue Meadows’ “great job” in Congress.

Cooper, the professor at the University of West Carolina, said Cawthorn is “ideologically cut from a Mark Meadows mold” and said he shares many stylistic similarities with the former congressman.

“Meadows is ideologically extreme and personally personable, and I would use the same words to describe Madison Cawthorn,” Cooper said.

Meadows held the seat of Congress from 2013 to this year; During part of that time, he served as president of the House of Liberty Chamber and was one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress. He announced in March that he would resign to serve as the president’s chief of staff. Meadows frustrated some local Republicans when he announced 30 hours before the December filing deadline that he would not seek reelection. He was accused of scheduling his retirement to help elect Bennett, who is friends with his wife, and exclude other potential candidates from the race.

In March, Bennett obtained the majority vote, 22.72%, in a crowded Republican primary, but did not receive enough votes to avoid a runoff. Cawthorn won the second highest number of votes in that primary, with 20.38%.

Cawthorn now faces Democrat Moe Davis in the fall, for a position classified as “Solid Republican” by the Cook Political Report.