Ellmers, Hines to vie for competitive Greensboro-area House seat

The Republican former congresswoman would face the conservative political newcomer in a race to win a district currently represented by a Democrat.

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Bo Hines Headshot
Bryan Anderson
, WRAL statehouse reporter
Conservative political newcomer and U.S. House candidate Bo Hines intends to run in a highly competitive Greensboro-area seat, he told WRAL News in an interview shortly after Republican lawmakers on Thursday approved a new congressional map.

Hines said the 6th Congressional District is largely where he has spent the past year campaigning and is a place he has personal connection to.

Meanwhile, former GOP U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers announced on Friday that she plans to compete against Hines for the Republican Party's nomination.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning is the area’s current representative. She has expressed interest in running for reelection but has not formally declared.

“I just truly believe that this is the place that I feel at home,” Hines said. “I’ve been here the last five years of my life, and I love the people here and want to represent them in Congress.”

Manning is waiting to see if the congressional map holds up in court before making a decision on whether to seek reelection.

"Rep. Manning is going to wait to comment on the race until after the courts scrutinize the map early next week," said Hailey Barringer, a spokeswoman for Manning. "As we’ve seen this week, things continue to change quickly so we’re going to hold off for now."

Hines is a former North Carolina State University football player, Wake Forest University School of Law alum and ally of former President Donald Trump. He has the backing of Club for Growth, an influential Washington, D.C., political action committee that has endorsed him for whatever seat he decides to pursue.

Hines is also supported by controversial Republicans, including North Carolina U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Florida U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

His district choice includes an area where U.S. Senate candidate and former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker has expressed interest. In December, Hines and Walker met with former President Donald Trump to discuss their political plans. Walker has since said he remains a Senate candidate, though he hasn’t ruled out a congressional bid.

“Congressman Walker has claimed he's staying in the Senate race,” Hines said. “So there's no reason for me to consider him getting back into this race.”

Walker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Jan. 27, he held an event in Greensboro announcing he would continue in the Senate race and has since agreed to a Feb. 26 debate with his Republican primary opponents.

Ellmers, a Dunn resident, said in an interview that the new district is a good fit because it includes her Harnett County home and communities she has previously represented in Congress.

"Outside of representing anyone in Guilford County or Rockingham County, I know those counties," she said.

The district is expected to be among the most competitive seats in the general election, North Carolina redistricting experts say. The redraw took place after the state Supreme Court determined Republicans passed maps that were unfair to Democrats and racial minorities in November.

Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, considers the new district a toss-up.

"That is probably one of the more welcoming opportunities and it's going to be competitive come November,” Bitzer said. “Whoever the Republican is has got a 50/50 chance in that kind of contest."


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