RALEIGH -- All eyes are on North Carolina this year, as several congressional seats are highly contested races. One of those races in question is the 13th congressional district, which has a one-term member of congress facing off against a long time local advocate.
Ted Budd says he has learned a lot during his first term in congress.
“So it moves slowly,” says Budd. “We've made a lot of progress with tax reform, and deregulation and then opioid bills that we've done. Tremendous amount of progress. But it takes a lot of corralling. In essence, the Speaker’s job is to herd cats. And we've been on that team to do that.”
Budd overcame a field of 17 candidates the last time he ran for office. But, he says even with that challenge, he had been looking for an opportunity to serve for some time.
“I had told him five or six years ago, ‘hey if you ever see an opportunity for me to run office, let me know’,” Budd says of a conversation with a friend. “It can be state house, senate, county commissioner. Some way it might be a good fit for me to serve others.”
Budd's story begins right here in North Carolina. He was born in Winston Salem, is a Davie County High School graduate and also attended college and grad school in state.
He says he spent his childhood helping out on the family farm, and it’s there he was learning important lessons from his parents and mentors.
“Tell the truth, be respectful, work hard. I think those are some,” says Budd. “Be frugal, look for opportunities, take the initiative. Those are a lot things that were ingrained in me over the course of my life-at different points in my life. And don't be above anybody.”
“Budd's life journey also brought him to the Dallas Seminary where he got a masters in educational leadership .
Mission trips and service to his church have always been important- and one particular mission trip was especially important to him.
“It was the last week of the USSR, so Gorbachev was president and when we came back to the US- we saw the iron curtain come down,” says Budd. “We saw the Lennon statue get torn down. But on that trip is where I met my wife from West Virginia.”
Budd is now a small business owner himself. He says experiences through his time in the church, on the farm, and now in the nation's capital, have shaped him, and he believes he has the qualities to make a good member of congress.
“They can listen and understand all points of view across the spectrum, and is willing to work hard,” he says. “So work ethic is a part of it. But I think being able to have a broad range of experiences that allows you to empathize with others- even if they may not be in the same spot in life that you’re in-but if they can get it. That's one of the strengths I bring to the table.
If you would like to learn more about Budd’s campaign, you can visit his website.
Kathy Manning is no stranger to the folks in the Greensboro area. She has deeps roots in the community from her numerous volunteer boards, to helping with economic revitalization in area.
“Because after we lost our business base, we needed to be the kind of place the new businesses needed to be attracted to and that young people would want to come back to and build their careers and families here,” Manning says of her work on the local economy.
Manning says there is no question, the Triad is home, but her story starts in the Motor City.
“I learned from both my parents,” Manning says. “I learned the benefits of hard work and determination. And when you set out to do something to stick with it. I learned the importance of education, family, faith and honesty and integrity.”
Manning says she always was a learner and eventually the books brought her to law school. Beyond setting her on her career path, law school is also where she met the man she would eventually marry.
“I met my husband the first day of law school,” says Manning. “We were best friends. And we didn't start dating until right after we graduated. And when we started dating, we graduated in June, started dating a week after we graduated and were engaged right after Thanksgiving. “
Her husband is a Greensboro native- and when his help was needed in the family business, they headed to the Tar Heel State. Here, they raised their children and here, she says, through her community involvement, she eventually got led to the path to want to be in elected office.
“I have just been so frustrated that there is so much fighting, and they are not working together to get the things done that are really important to the American people,” she says. “And I felt that is something I have done. I have brought people together to on tough issues. And I just decided rather than complain; I should put myself out there and try to do something.”
For Manning, she says lowering prescription drug prices will be one of her top priorities in DC. But, she says, she believes she be able to strongly represent all of the people of District 13.
“I think you have to be willing to listen to the people you are representing,” says Manning. “Because you have to understand what they need. And I think you have to be a really hard worker. Because it is a lot of work. You have to be able to work with the people in congress, you have to be able to work with the people back in your district. “
To learn more about Manning you can visit her website.