LAURINBURG — Congressional hopeful Dan McCready was in Laurinburg Thursday seeking help to turn a red congressional district blue.
McCready spoke to about 60 people gathered at Scotland Place for meeting hosted by the Scotland County Democrat Women.
McCready, a Democrat from Charlotte, is seeking the 9th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, currently held by Republican Robert Pittenger. The district, which inlcudes all of Scotland County, runs from Charlotte to Fayetteville.
McCready told his mostly Democratic audience that neither Pittenger or President Donald Trump are doing much for North Carolina or rural communities. Instead of helping the district, Pittenger has embraced the president and many of his extreme policies, according to McCready.
The political newcomer said voters need to “take back the values that have been left behind by Washington.”
He added that he would not be beholden to liberals or conservatives or special interests, but would do what was right for the district’s constituents. He said he would work for affordable health care, better jobs and employment opportunities, quality education and the protection of veterans.
“Folks I’m not a politician,” said the 34-year-old former Marine. “This is a calling for me to get off the sidelines and fight back for North Carolina.”
McCready said the 9th District is considered by many analysts as one of the congressional seats that can go from Republican to Democrat. The district has not had a Democrat representative since 1963. Trump carried the district by 12 points last fall, while Pittenger won it by 16.
“When we started no one thought we could win,”said McCready, who owns a solar energy company . “But we can put this race on the map because of people like you in Scotland County and the rest of the district.”
McCready has attracted national media attention for his fundraising and a resume that has drawn comparisons to that of Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb, a former Marine who won a recent special election in a heavily Republican district. He raised $1.1 million in 2017 – more than Pittenger and Republican challenger Mark Harris combined.
The candidate also visited Robeson and Richmond counties on Thursday.
“Too many politicians show up to Washington with good intentions, but then they forget who sent them there. They only fight for themselves and the special interests,” McCready said. “I hope you’ll join this campaign to put country over party and turn our country around.”
McCready, a graduate of Duke University and Harvard Business School, faces fellow Democrat Christian Cano, who ran in 2016.
Mark Harris and Clarence Goins Jr. are challenging the Pittinger, who has been in Congress since 2013, in the Republican primary. Libertarian Jeff Scott is also seeking the 9th District seat.