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13th District profile: Democrat Scott Huffman
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13th District profile: Democrat Scott Huffman

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Democrat Scott Huffman is challenging U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, a Republican who is running for a third term in the 13th District.

Huffman, of Cabarrus County, is running in a district that was redrawn in 2019 but still favors Republicans and includes Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Lee, Person, Randolph and Rowan counties and part of Iredell.

The U.S. Constitution requires only that U.S. House members live in the state where they are elected, not necessarily the district.

Budd won reelection in 2018 after a serious challenge by Democrat Kathy Manning, who is now running for Congress in the redrawn 6th District.

Huffman is a Navy veteran and small business owner. He sat down recently for an interview with Jim Longworth, host of the "Triad Today" public-affairs show. "Triad Today" will broadcast interviews with several candidates for state and national office next week.

In the interview, Huffman was asked about a range of issues.

As the nation continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, Huffman was asked whether he would support a national mandate for wearing face coverings.

"Absolutely," he said, "because if the death of 214,000 Americans is not enough to convince this president and Ted Budd that we need to wear a mask, then obviously science and the experts should." 

Longworth also asked: 

Do you support Medicare for all? 

Huffman said he does because "if anything, this pandemic has shown the underbelly of Americans in our district who don't have insurance. So many people have lost their health care through no fault of their own because we don't have leadership in Washington telling people to respect science, listen to the evidence and wear a mask."

Do you support forgiveness of college student loans?

"If we can give tax breaks to the top 2%, which Mr. Budd represents, then we can help out those at the bottom who are struggling to pay their education."

He said that people are out of work because of the pandemic and "they can't pay off their education. So we need to help them. And right now we're not doing enough."

At this point, Huffman and Budd began to address each other, ignoring Longworth's questions. 

Budd quickly answered Huffman's comment about helping out the top 2% of wage earners, saying 90% of taxpayers got a cut. 

"Ted Budd voted to take away over $450 billion in deductions for working-class folks so he could pay for the tax break that we've given the top 2%," Huffman said. "That's just wrong. And working-class folks like myself are hurting during this pandemic."

Budd replied that most people have more take-home pay. 

"What people really need right now is food on the table and being able to stay in their homes and keep their rent and pay their mortgages," Huffman said. 

What one thing did you learn from your parents? 

"Mother was a single mom working as a truck-stop waitress in Salisbury," Huffman said. "She helped to define my working-class values and how I want to help folks in the district." 

Contact Richard M. Barron at 336-373-7371 and follow @BarronBizNR on Twitter.

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