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Hines, Ellmers running for competitive Raleigh-area congressional seat

The 13th Congressional District that Hines plans to run in marks a shift from where he has spent much of the last year campaigning.

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Bo Hines Headshot
By
Bryan Anderson
, WRAL state government reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — Conservative political newcomer Bo Hines is preparing to run in what is expected to be North Carolina's closest congressional race this year, his campaign told WRAL News on Tuesday.

The former North Carolina State University football player seeks to return to the Raleigh area to vie for the 13th Congressional District seat, which includes the southern portion of Wake County, all of Johnston County and parts of Wayne and Harnett counties.

The move is a shift from where Hines has spent much of the last year campaigning.

The aspiring congressman who is also a Wake Forest University School of Law alum and ally of former President Donald Trump already faces a large Republican primary field. His opponents include former U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, attorney Kelly Daughtry, former Republican National Convention delegate DeVan Barbour and businessman Chad Slotta.

Rob Burgess, a spokesman for Hines' campaign, said Hines would formally submit his candidacy paperwork with the State Board of Elections on Wednesday. Ellmers has announced she'll running in the 13th district but has not yet filed. Daughtry, Barbour and Slotta have also filed with the state.

Hines is seeking office with the backing of Club for Growth, an influential Washington, D.C., political action committee that had endorsed him for whatever seat he had decided to pursue.

He 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.

Hines and Ellmers had said last month that they'd compete for a Greensboro-area seat, but that changed after a panel of judges enacted a new congressional map that made the 6th Congressional District a stronger Democratic-leaning seat. Experts expect that district to reelect Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning. A map the legislature drew, which was ultimately rejected by the court, would have made the 6th district one of the competitive races in the state.

In an interview last month, Hines said he had spent the past year campaigning in the Greensboro region and called it "the place that I feel at home." Ellmers, a Dunn resident, said at the time she had wanted to run for the seat stretching to Greensboro because it included her Harnett County home.

As of late Tuesday, state Sen. Wiley Nickel of Wake County was seeking the Democratic nomination in the 13th district, as was former U.S. Air Force officer Nathan Click and teacher Denton Lee.

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