RALEIGH — On Oct. 26, Freshman Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson (NC-14) announced in a video message posted to the social media platform X that he would not be seeking reelection in 2024 and would instead be running for attorney general of North Carolina.
Jackson, who will have only served one term after winning his seat in 2022, prefaced his run for North Carolina attorney general by stating, “I’ve officially been drawn out of my congressional district by a small group of politicians.”
After calling redistricting changes “blatant corruption,” Jackson then made his candidacy announcement and said he was “going to use that job to fight political corruption.”
Later the same day, Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-08), the Republican candidate in that contest, welcomed the “Chinese Social Media Star” to the race; a reference to Jackson’s prolific use of the Chinese social media platform TikTok.
“Jeff Jackson is a woke liberal who wants to bring the same protect-the-criminal policies that ruined San Francisco, New York, and Chicago to North Carolina,” Bishop said in the statement. “I am not going to let that happen.”
TikTok has been deemed to be a national security risk and a bill banning its use from government devices was signed by President Joe Biden in December 2022. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper followed suit in January 2023 by issuing an executive order banning TikTok as well as “WeChat” applications from all state-owned computers, phones, and networks.
In a follow-up post, Bishop included a graphic (right) written in Chinese and mocking Jackson’s announcement.
The graphic also has an English translation that reads, “My name is Jeff Jackson. I am a TikTok star who wants to make North Carolina soft on crime like San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. Now back to the stupid videos of me helping China to spy on North Carolina and cats.”
The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) responded to Bishop by characterizing his statements as “dog-whistles” while at the same time condemning Bishop’s statements as “racist rhetoric.”
“It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Dan Bishop is resorting to using dog-whistle statements against the AAPI community instead of actually discussing what he wants to do for the people of North Carolina as Attorney General,” the NCDP’s said. “We condemn this racist rhetoric wholeheartedly.”
“This is an attack on all Chinese Americans, over 400,000 Asian Americans, and almost 1 million immigrants in North Carolina,” Rep. Ya Liu (D-Wake) said in the NCDP’s statement. “Immigrants and their families are not “unamerican.” Dan Bishop has a long history of targeting minority communities and spouting conspiracy theories.”
“For Jeff Jackson, serving in Congress was never about serving North Carolinians. This job has merely been a stepping stone to higher office,” National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Delanie Bomar said in a statement. “Jackson has had one foot out the door for months, and it’s about time he stepped aside to make room for a representative who truly cares about serving North Carolina in Congress.”