NC-11: Still looking like Bennett v. Davis (But Driscoll on the rise?)


The race to succeed Mark Meadows in the 11th district out west has been rough-and-tumble (to say the least).  A gaggle of Republicans piled into the primary to try and succeed Mark Meadows — the conservative hero and Trump confidante.  Meadows is retiring at the end of the current congressional term.


Meadows,  Ohio congressman Jim Jordan and the rest of the House Freedom Caucus are openly backing the campaign of local GOP activist Lynda Bennett.   The caucus has announced that Bennett is part of its efforts to recruit more women into the Freedom Caucus.


State senator Jim Davis has represented a significant portion of the district for years in Raleigh.  His campaign is receiving substantial support from GOP establishment figures in Raleigh and throughout the district.  Establishment figures like Haywood County GOP leader Denny King are promoting Davis on social media.


But,  hold the phone.  We’re getting reports that significant logistical, financial and other kinds of support are flowing down from DC into the campaign of Republican Dan Driscoll.  Those DC sources, I am told are allied with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his predecessor, Speaker John Boehner.



This race could very well play out as another proxy war between  The House Freedom Caucus and the House Republican Leadership  — like last year’s  GOP race in North Carolina’s Third District did.



The irony there?   Last year,  DC was all about getting another woman elected to the House from North Carolina.  Now, it appears some of the same people may be pulling out all stops to prevent another woman from getting elected.


Private independent polling in the district had been showing Tuesday’s upcoming vote resulting in a runoff between Bennett and Davis.  But that was before the assistance to Driscoll became known to key players in the race.


15 thoughts on “NC-11: Still looking like Bennett v. Davis (But Driscoll on the rise?)

  1. I’m glad I don’t live there and have to make a choice. What Meadows did to have a backroom deal with Bennett is just wrong. In the end, Meadows has proven himself to be no more honorable than the rest of the pack. I have never had a bigger political disappointment.

    1. Yond, you hit the nail on the head. Mr. & Mrs. Meadows made their power play obvious, and a good portion of district NC-11 GOP voters are livid. Most of us want to pick our own representative, and sadly that fact was lost on the congressman. My family is backing a different horse. If a second primary includes Bennett, well be pulling for her opponent.

  2. Meadows tapped Bennett because of her beliefs. The GRNC even stands behind her. This isn’t just a Freedom Caucus fight for Conservatism. This is the last gasp by the Establishment. The Establishment in NC hate true Conservatives like Meadows, trashed talked him for years. It’s evident by the leftist PAC attacking Bennett and the Establishment now attacking Meadows. They’ve lied, drug her name through the dirt, they’ll stop at nothing to keep their greedy control freak hands wrapped around the Party’s throat. It’s time for Conservatism to beat them back into submission. NO MORE CLUBBERS, end establishment rule, END the left leaning Establishment opportunism.

    1. I am sorry, but as a voter, worker and conservative in NC11, you are WRONG! Any attacks Bennett is getting, she has 100% brought on herself. Here is a recap of what she and the Meadows have done:
      1. Lynda has known for over 1 year when Mark was retiring. Mark did not “tap” her, his endorsement came after polls revealed she was in BIG trouble! Mark broke his word! He told many of us, including candidates, he would NOT endorse anyone in the primary. Shame on him!
      2. Mark made his announcement through The Asheville Tea Party and cut out the NC11 GOP leadership. The Asheville Tea Party did not get him into Congress!
      3. Debbie Meadows took Lynda around like a show horse, but it was evident immediately that even with a 1-year head start, she is NOT qualified and simply does NOT have the skill set for Congress. She freaks out when asked tough questions by a GOP member.
      4. Lynda hired Jane Bilello, the head of the fringe Asheville Tea Party as her Campaign Manager. She shows terrible decision making.
      5. Lynda hired Jordan Bowman, board member of CCNC, as a consultant. Paid him $40k to create a PAC to garner a sham endorsement.
      6. This PAC then distributed “conservative ballots” at the polls prior to approval.
      7. This PAC did not file with the FEC.
      8. This PAC is now under investigation with the FEC & NCBOE. Lynda has denied knowing anything — give me a break! She has the swamp thing figured out!
      9. Bilello gave poll workers a packet with a Trump hat, unapproved PAC ballot, Bennett palm cards & a letter directed them to tell all voters “anybody but Tillis.” I don’t care if you like Tillis or not, you can’t use 1 campaign to undermine another race.
      10. Never Trumper — I did not initially believe the audio, but after what I have seen 1st hand from this campaign, I 100% believe it! And if she was a true Tump supporter, she would support his Senate endorsement of Tillis, not actively campaign against it!
      11. Mark & Debbie sold their house in NC11 over 1 year ago. They don’t care if we lose the seat & if Bennett is the nominee, welcome Congressman Moe Davis the liberal from Asheville to DC!

      I attended Lynda’s 1st event (because of Debbie & Mark), the candidate forum and have seen all of these candidates MANY times — she is in the bottom 1/3. The ONLY reason she is even a point of discussion is because Mark and the PAC’s have given nearly $600k to flood NC11 & to try to buy this seat for their friend.

      We love the mountains, not the swamp! My support goes 100% to Madison Cawthorn!

      1. I don’t agree with the way the Meadows did this either…..but several of your points are problematic…

        2, I wouldn’t blame Meadows for cutting NC-11 GOP out of it, their leadership is pure establishment, the antithesis of what Meadows is supposed to be, and the NC11 Chair has had a hand in the disastrous Çentral Committee decisions of recent years.

        9. Who says they can’t use one campaign to undermine another? Since when is the Asheville Tea Party part of the State Executive Committee? Tillis has betrayed the Party over the years to the point of being unelectable in a general election, and no one thinks the President had much choice in being forçed to endorse a Juror of the Impeachment trial. So good for Jane.

      2. 12. Endorsement of Bennett by HCGOP Chair Ken Hanson, in violation of the Plan of Organization. as of this moment this edorsement appears on the HCGOP Facebook page, Bennett’s campaign website, and the Asheville Tea PAC website.


      The Haywood County GOP is the epitome of a club. It is controlled by a group who does what they want to do, regardless of the Plan of Organization or votes of the HCGOP ExCom. When the truth becomes inconvenient, they lie at the drop of a hat – in front of witnesses and sometimes even under oath. That is the swamp from which Bennett sprang.

  3. Mark Meadows reminds me of Rufus Edmonston trying to get in the camera behind Sam Erwin.
    And just about as effective too!

  4. If I read one more time that Lynda Bennett or hear the words come out of her own mouth, that she is non confrontational I will scream. SHE along with that TPAC she aligned herself with and turned her campaign over to, has brought the term dirty politics to a new level in District 11. Thank you Mark Meadows. . You have created quite the legacy for yourself here in District 11.


  5. Apparently Meadows is taking a cushy high paying job in the private sector and didn’t want NC House member Kevin Corbin of Franklin,NC to file for the NC 11 seat. Corbin is a strong conservative and would be unbeatable in a primary and the general election. By announcing his retirement when he did Corbin could not file for NC 11 as he had already filed to run for Sen Davis seat who had retired. Corbin has the strong conservative credentials and political backing to represent NC 11 in congress. Now Meadows has put the district in jeopardy. For some reason Meadows did not want Corbin to be able to run for his seat so he waited until Corbin could not file to run so he could support a candidate with no elected political experience over the most conservative and electable candidate in the district.

  6. Thrilled to see Madison Cawthorn in the runoff with Bennett. With the right campaign, he’ll knock her out. He’s the right Republican for the seat. Drain the swamp.

  7. Now that Meadows has taken the COS role and will have to resign from the House doesn’t this now negate the primary election and call for a Special Election to fill the vacant seat.

    1. I suspect they’ll wait for the general election to run its cycle…the winner will assume the seat right after the results are certified. A special election would only fill the seat until this next (this November’s) general election anyway. And Gov. Cooper and the Democrat-controlled SBE aren’t in any hurry to fill it—better to give Moe Davis his best chance to flip the seat.

  8. Now all of Meadows congressional staff have resigned but 2. If the winner of the 11th in the GOP primary loses to Moe Davis in the General then in all probability Trump will lose NC. The best candidate was State rep Kevin Corbin who IMHO was unbeatable and would have secured victory for other republicans in the district. Now everything is up for grabs and very tenuous in a district that should have been safe.

Comments are closed.