Local News

Two Newcomers Hope To Unseat Third-Term Lawmaker In 2nd District

Posted October 30, 2002

— In the state's 2nd Congressional District, two underdogs are trying to unseat a third-term lawmaker.

Third-term incumbent Democrat Bobby Etheridge, who lives in Lillington, Republican nominee Jeff Ellen, a Chatham County forestry consultant who is taking his first run for public office, and Libertarian Gary Minter, a state employee from Raleigh, are vying for the district that is part of 10 counties, including portions of Wake and Cumberland counties.

While Etheridge's campaign uses 50 volunteers to handle mailings and telephone calls, Ellen is his own campaign manager, volunteer and major fund-raiser. His pickup truck is his campaign office.

"I'm sort of taking the biblical approach. Wherever there are two or three gathered together, that's where I am -- shaking hands and telling them about me. We've got a grassroots campaign going and it seems to be working well," Ellen said.

Etheridge said he splits his time between serving his constituents in the 2nd District and running for a fourth term. He feels the economy is what voters have on their minds.

"I don't think there is any question. People are hurting they want a job and they want this economy working again," he said.

Etheridge and Ellen agree that a stimulus is needed.

"The federal government can help because we could do some targeted tax cuts and probably should for middle-income people," Etheridge said.

"A couple of towns are now ghost towns. One of them used to be the denim capitol of the world, now it's a ghost town," Ellen said.

Voters head to the polls Nov. 5.

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