Raleigh, N.C. — Congressman Mike McIntyre's recent decision not to seek a 10th term representing the 7th Congressional District appeared to have opened the floodgates in Wilmington.
New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, a Wilmington realtor, is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed McIntyre, and fellow New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White has declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination.
White, a Wilmington attorney, was in Raleigh Monday to talk up his congressional bid. He calls himself a Washington, D.C., outsider who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut spending. He also opposes efforts to extend unemployment benefits.
"While we need to always care for folks that don't have jobs and that need temporary assistance from government, we cannot send a message as a government that it's a permanent solution," he said. "Extending welfare checks and unemployment checks forever simply creates an entitlement state."
Former Republican state Sen. David Rouzer, who lost to McIntyre in a 2012 recount, also is running again in the 7th District, which extends from Johnston County southeast to the coast.