NC Rep. Jon Hardister confirms he is considering run for Congress

North Carolina News
N.C. Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford County)

There is a little more clarity in who will or won’t be on your ballots in next year’s elections.

State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford County), the House majority whip, confirmed in an email Monday that he is taking a hard look at running for the nomination in the open 7th Congressional District in next year’s elections.

That district as drawn includes the eastern swathe of Guilford County that Hardister now serves in Raleigh.

Candidates can start to file at noon next Monday and continue to do so through noon on Dec. 17. The primary election is set for March 8.

But at least two lawsuits have been filed to suggest that new maps the General Assembly adopted for North Carolina’s 14 congressional districts are racially gerrymandered to give the GOP dominance, with 10 or 11 of them figuring to lean heavily Republican based on prior elections. The NC Supreme Court had ordered congressional maps be redrawn for the 2020 election.

“I am strongly considering a run for 7th Congressional district,” Hardister stated in an email. “I am in the process of assessing the opportunity and expect to make a decision very soon.”

There has been much speculation about who will run in that district, which also includes all of Alamance, Chatham, Randolph and Lee counties, an eastern slice of Davidson County, the northwestern portion of Harnett County and the southeastern corner of Wake County.

The 7th is one of those districts that figures to lean Republican, and The News & Observer in Raleigh first reported Hardister’s interest and also listed Marvin Boguslawski, Peter Boykin, Jennyfer Bucardo, Christian Castelli, Bo Hines and Kent Keirsey among Republicans who have said they will run. No Democrat has announced.

Former Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro also confirmed he has been encouraged to drop out of the race for the Senate and run again for the House. Walker was elected to serve the 6th District in 2016 and 2018.

Parra pauses

Maddie Parra

Meanwhile, Democrat Maddie Parra of Clemmons, who had announced a run for the 10th District seat, said in an email that she won’t be running in 2022.

“I’ve paused my campaign for this cycle due to uncertainty around whether these lines will stick,” Parra wrote. “You can find my full statement on this on my website if you click ‘Read Latest Update.’”

The current district lines complicated Parra’s situation because she lives in Forsyth County, all of which is in the 12th District. The new 10th District includes the southwestern corner of Guilford County, both north and east of High Point, the western swathe of Davidson County, the southern half of Iredell County and all of Davie, Rowan and Cabarrus Counties. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Concord) is considered its incumbent.

“The district lines, especially NC District 10, are likely to be shifting under our feet multiple times between now and Election Day 2022,” Parra wrote on her website. “Because of this, I do not feel that in good faith I can spend your hard-earned donor money or valuable volunteering time towards a 2022 election. That’s why I have made the tough decision to pause my candidacy until 2024, when we will know exactly the voters we need to talk to and the voices we need to lift up.”

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