NORTH CAROLINA -- It did not take long for fireworks to fly in a debate between the two candidates for North Carolina's 13th congressional district, as the two candidates clashed on taxes, healthcare, and a swath of controversial campaign ads.

Rep. Ted Budd, the Republican incumbent and gun shop owner, went head-to-head against Kathy Manning, a Democrat and lawyer, during a Tuesday debate hosted by Spectrum News.


The discussion of recent campaign ads drew perhaps the most heated moment, as Manning accused Budd of lying in one of his ads.  

"That is an absolute lie, and you should be ashamed of yourself," said Manning, who argues the claims made in an ad about the construction of a parking deck in Greensboro are false. PoliticFact recently rated one of the key claims in the ad as "false."

Budd, meanwhile, doubled down. "It benefits what's ultimately to be my opponent's and her husband's hotel, and I think that's an insider deal," he said.

Throughout the debate, Budd touted what he says were the benefits of last year's Republican tax plan.

"I look at a lady just down the road who has a furniture business, and instead of buying one power saw that was $250,000, she bought four of them for a million dollars and hired more middle class employees," he said. "This is working."

Manning argued it only added to the national debt, while not doing enough to help the middle class. "This is putting a huge burden on our children and our grandchildren," she said. "It's also putting national security at risk because, don't forget, China holds an enormous amount of our debt."

The 13th district, which stretches from Greensboro to the northern suburbs of Charlotte, is considered a "toss-up" by some national election watchers. Others rate as "lean Republican."

On Capitol Hill, there are already rumblings that Democrats will try to impeach the president if they take back power. Manning backed away from that idea.

"I’m not in favor of impeachment," she said. "I think that Congress has way too much work to do to get bogged down in impeachment proceedings."

Budd, meanwhile, stood behind the president: "His policies are working, they've been good for our country, no matter what party you're on."

On Nancy Pelosi, Manning once again said she will not vote for her for Speaker if Democrats take back control of the House.

Voters now have just days to decide what they want for the future of North Carolina's 13th district. Election day is November 6. Early voting is already underway in North Carolina.