ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A 24-year-old real estate investment CEO won Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff for a western North Carolina congressional seat over President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate for the nomination.
Madison Cawthorn defeated Lynda Bennett to complete an upset for the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District. Bennett had received the president’s backing on Twitter and the earlier endorsement of Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who until recently had held the seat.
Cawthorn called for the runoff after he finished second to Bennett in a 12-candidate primary in early March. Bennett had failed to get more than 30% of the vote need to win outright. The scheduled May runoff was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cawthorn, who would reach the constitutionally-mandated age of 25 to serve in the House in August, was paralyzed from the abdomen down after a 2014 car accident. He’ll face Democrat Moe Davis, a former military prosecutor, and other party nominees in November. The district is still considered Republican-leaning despite recent boundary changes following litigation.