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5 Things to Know: Jeff Jackson Announces Run for NC Attorney General

...and four more stories from Oct. 22-28, 2023

NC Sen. Jeff Jackson
U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson appears on ‘Nooze Hounds’ as a state senator in 2020. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Jeff Jackson Announces Run for NC Attorney General

Having been drawn out of his current congressional district, U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson announced Thursday that he is now running for North Carolina Attorney General.

In a video announcement posted to Twitter on Thursday morning, Jeff Jackson called the newly drawn districts that have forced him out of Congress “blatant political corruption by a small group of politicians” (read more about that below) and outlined his plan “to fight for North Carolina families, guarding them from consumer fraud, keeping kids safe online, combating the opioid epidemic, and protecting clean air and water,” according to a release.

If elected, Jeff Jackson would replace NC AG Josh Stein, who is likely to be the Democratic candidate for governor in 2024.

“I’ve been a prosecutor in a courtroom and a soldier in Afghanistan. I’m a husband and a father. And I am the last person corrupt politicians want to see as attorney general because I don’t care about what party they’re in,” Jackson said in the video. “It’s got nothing to do with parties. It’s about doing what’s right. Organized crime that target’s your bank account, fentanyl that targets our kids, corporations that break the rules with price-gouging or polluting our water — let’s go.”

Jackson will likely face Republican candidate Dan Bishop, an acolyte of former President Donald Trump acolyte who currently represents NC’s 8th district in the House and from 2019-’23 represented the 9th, during which time he played a leading role as an election denier for Trump.

Bishop responded to Jackson’s announcement on Twitter Thursday, releasing a statement calling his opponent a “TikToker” and a “woke liberal,” claiming he’s soft on crime, then following it up with a translation in Chinese, adding, “For our unamerican friends….”

The North Carolina Democratic Party answered back on Friday, calling Bishop’s attack a “dog-whistle” and “racist rhetoric.”

“This is an attack on all Chinese Americans, over 400,000 Asian Americans, and almost 1 million immigrants in North Carolina,” stated Rep.Ya Liu, a Democrat from Wake County. “Immigrants and their families are not ‘unamerican.’ Dan Bishop has a long history of targeting minority communities and spouting conspiracy theories.”


NC GOP Approves Gerrymandered Congressional Maps

Voting along party lines, the North Carolina General Assembly approved new district maps for the state legislature and U.S. Congress on Wednesday, with Republicans using their supermajority to approve maps drawn by their fellow Republicans.

Unless stricken down by the courts due to any of the expected legal challenges, the maps will strengthen the Republicans’ supermajority statewide and add seats to what is currently a slight majority for Republicans in the US House of Representatives.

It’s believed that only districts 2, 4, and 13 will be sure Democratic victories in the new U.S. Congressional maps for NC, with District 1 a toss-up. (Courtesy of NCGA)

While Democrats and Republicans currently share a seven-seven split in the U.S. House thanks to a map drawn under court order in 2021 after the last Republican effort to gerrymander was ruled unconstitutional, the new map is expected to result in a 10-4 split in favor of the GOP — possibly 11-3.

Upon the maps’ proposal on Oct. 18, Gov. Cooper called them “gerrymandering on steroids.”

Learn more: OPINION: In NC, Democracy Is Throttled and Left for Dead

A statement from N.C. Sen. Democratic Whip Jay Chaudhuri read, “This session, we’ve witnessed how Republicans use their supermajority. That’s why it’s been one of the worst sessions in North Carolina history: Republicans passed an abortion ban, rolled back voting rights, passed the worst state budget I’ve ever seen, targeted the LGBTQ+ community, and now these unfair maps.

“These maps are the core of representative democracy, and we know these new maps do not fairly represent the makeup of our state. Without fair maps, we have no fair democracy.”

Unless stricken down by the courts, the new maps will be in effect through at least 2030.


Monroe Teen Found Safe After 12 Days Missing

A young girl who had been missing from her home in Union County for about two weeks was found safe in Missouri on Wednesday. A man believed to have lured her into his company through anonymous social messaging apps now faces charges for sexual assault connected to her disappearance.

The 16-year-old girl, who was last seen leaving her home in Monroe on Oct. 13, was found in a car with the suspect, 30-year-old Christopher Porter, in Kirkwood, Missouri, by officers responding to a call about the car parked suspiciously in a parking lot there.

The girl told police that Porter had convinced her to run away with him after she vented to him about being stressed out and wanting to leave home. Porter, already a convicted sex offender, now faces new charges of second-degree statutory rape, second-degree statutory sodomy, possession of child pornography, and sexual exploitation of a minor.


Man Pleads Guilty to 32 Dog-Fighting Charges

A north Charlotte man pleaded guilty to 32 counts of charges related to a dog-fighting ring he allegedly ran out of his home near Reedy Creek Park.

Police first answered a call for service at 41-year-old Earl Hamilton’s house on Leopold Lane in October 2021, and on Monday of this week, Hamilton pleaded guilty to five counts of felony dog fighting, 12 counts of felony animal cruelty, 12 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and three counts of misdemeanor cruel restraint.

CMPD’s Animal Care & Control department kept custody of 29 dogs that were seized from the home more than two years ago. While three of the dogs have passed away during that time, the department says it will evaluate all 26 remaining dogs and make euthanasia and/or placement decisions in the coming days.

As part of Hamilton’s punishment, the six dogs currently living at his home were also seized this week and he will not be allowed to own, have possession of or care for any dogs for a period of five years. His wife was allowed to keep her two miniature schnauzers.


Driver Strikes and Kills Cyclist in Matthews

The Matthews Police Department on Monday announced that Bruce Alan Davis, a man who was struck by a driver while trying to bicycle 67 miles on his 67th birthday on Sunday, had succumbed to his injuries. Davis was reportedly riding along Matthews Township Parkway near Covenant Day School at around 12:46 p.m. on Sunday when the driver struck him with their car.

The Matthews Police Department was not clear about whether the driver stopped or was identified, only that as of Monday no charges had been filed related to the incident and that there continued to be an “ongoing investigation.”

Learn more: Nooze Hounds: Dianna Ward and Shannon Binns on Bicycling in Charlotte

The Matthews Run Club, of which Davis was a dedicated member, met on Monday to run in his memory, collectively running nearly 95 miles in total.

“Bruce was an active man by way of running, cycling and Crossfitting,” Deanna Nichole posted to the club’s Facebook page. “He was an inspiration to all around him. His smile was warm and welcoming and he is missed by many.”


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