Hear from the candidates in the crowded NC-13 Congressional race

14 Republicans are vying for the Triangle-based seat

The 13th District GOP primary will be held on Tuesday, March 5.

RALEIGH — District 13 is North Carolina’s most crowded Congressional race this year with 14 Republicans on the ballot. Whoever comes out on top will be headed to a matchup with Jeremiah Pierce, the lone Democrat who has filed to replace the current seat holder, first-term Democratic Rep. Wiley Nickel.

Following the General Assembly’s 2023 redistricting session, the 13th District’s two most populous counties are Johnston and parts of Wake. The district then runs southwest through Harnett and Lee counties and up to the Virginia border, grabbing Franklin, Granville, Person and Caswell counties.

The Republicans vying to win the March 5 Primary include Kelly Daughtry, Marcus Dellinger, David Dixon,Brad Knott, Steve A. (Von) Loor, Josh McConkey, James Phillips, Siddhanth Sharma, Matt Shoemaker, Eric Stevenson, Fred Von Canon, Kenny Xu, Chris Baker, and DeVan Barbour.

Of the 14, only Barbour and Daughtry were part of the Republican field that ran for the seat in 2022. While Bo Hines captured the win with just over 32% of the vote, Barbour came in second with 23% and Daughtry finished third with 17%. Nickel went on to beat Hines by a margin of 3%.

A runoff between the top two candidates in the race would be held if no one clears 30% of the vote.

North State Journal reached out to the campaigns of all 14 candidates with two questions: What sets them apart from your primary opponents and what their number one top priority will be if they win the seat.

All but two candidates provided answers to our questions. The responses are in alphabetical order as the candidate or campaign submitted them, however, some have been condensed for brevity.


Chris Baker

Chris Baker is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I’m one of the few who candidates in this primary that lives and has spent a considerable amount of time in the district I would like to represent in Washington, DC. I was born and grew up right off Interstate 95 in a family of you are either most likely to be a truck driver (which I am currently), work for the state of North Carolina (which I have done previously) or serve in the military. It might be the dirt between my fingertips or the grease stains on my pants, but I am an America First candidate who is running for office not for my self-interest but to pay it forward in helping all of the people in my community.

I have so many [priorities] because I want to make sure the elderly are taken care of along with the people who are serving in our military and who have served by increasing benefits. But one thing I have noticed that would benefit the most people as a whole I would say is my number one priority is infrastructure projects within our community.


DeVan Barbour

DeVan Barbour is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

As a lifelong resident of the district, I’ll understand the issues that impact our community on day one. We’ve got to secure the border, cut spending, and reduce inflation, but I also understand how important it will be to eliminate much of the Biden White House’s harmful Ag regulations that are hurting our farm families and putting pressure on our food supply by inflating prices at the grocery store. This is personal for me. It’s where I was born, where we live, where we work, and where our kids go to school. I’m running for Congress to work for, and give back to, the community that has been so good to me and my family for generations.

The biggest national security threat we face is Biden’s open border policy. We MUST secure our border. I’ll work to do that by ending the catch and release program, reinstitute Remain in Mexico, end the abuse of our asylum policy through fraudulent asylum requests, and we’ll build the wall.


Kelly Daughtry

Kelly Daughtry is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I am one of the only candidates that was born and raised in the district, in Johnston County. I have built my career fighting for families, farmers and small businesses. In other words, I have fought for North Carolinians and I can honestly say, that will continue when I get to Washington. Having worked hand in hand with people in the district, I know first-hand the impact Biden’s disastrous agenda has had on NC. I will be a fighter and a workhorse to bring sanity back to this country. I have no other agenda but that.

My number one priority is tackling inflation. Gas and grocery prices have gone through the roof under the disastrous policies of President Biden and that needs to change. The federal debt is $34 trillion and counting. Last year the Treasury Department spent almost $660 billion just on the interest of our national debt. We have to cut wasteful spending and gut the bloated bureaucracy. This failed administration is so inept it spent $38 million in COVID payments to dead people. Washington is in shambles and I will fight to restore our conservative values.


Marcus Dellinger

We received no responses to our questions from the Dellinger campaign despite multiple contact attempts through various mediums.


David Dixon

David Dixon is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I am a lifelong North Carolinian who lived in central NC for the past 20+ years. This is not the time to play small ball politics when the very foundations of our Constitutional Republic are under assault from the Neo-Marxist Democrats.

My candidacy is the only one taking on this broader perspective directly and without ambivalence or equivocation. I believe that my integrity, commitment to Conservative values and principles that are shared with the constituents of the 13th Congressional District, and willingness to speak the truth about the jeopardy that we face in today’s America differentiates my informational approach and grassroots campaign from most of the other candidates.

My highest priorities include national security (including border security), the economy, and government accountability.


Brad Knott

Brad Knott is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I am a prosecutor who has never run for office. I am not a politician. For the better part of the last decade, I worked with local, state and federal law enforcement investigating and prosecuting serious crimes, including drug trafficking, violent crime, financial crimes, and human trafficking, many of which were carried out by criminal gangs, organizations, and cartels. After prosecuting hundreds of cases, I understand how open borders fuel serious crime of every sort in North Carolina and across the country. I understand how to reduce crime. Laws need to be enforced – and strengthened – to correct the problems we face as a country from illegal immigration. I am prepared to lead that effort.

My top priority will be to fix the problems brought about by illegal immigration. This includes securing the border, finishing the wall, deporting illegal aliens, and enacting significant penalties for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the United States. Employers must employ only American citizens or legal immigrants. People around the world must learn that the United States will enforce its immigration laws strictly, and if anyone attempts to come here illegally, there will be immediate consequences. If these steps are followed, the illegal immigration problem will be brought under control, and we can begin to solve the many problems it has caused.


Josh McConkey

Josh McConkey is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I think the background will be the first one that sets me apart. I’m the only active military commander in the entire field, I’m an Army combat veteran, and an Air Force reserve commander right now at Andrews Air Force Base; I’m a Colonel. And then as an emergency physician, just the things that I see every day in the emergency department, they kind of hammer home on a lot of the policy failures. That’s what I deal with in the ER every day. And I was also the first of the candidates to actually formally endorse President Trump and ask the rest of the field to just back out and clear the field here.

My number one priority is the border. I’ve been practicing medicine for 20 years, and what I’ve seen from this fentanyl crisis and this opioid epidemic; I have walked in and told probably 100 or more families that their son or daughter had died, because we can’t secure border and stop this flow of drugs. I have cried with so many families. It rips my heart out and I hold very fast to “if you do not secure your border, you do not have national security.” And I deal with it in the ER every day; this opiate crisis; it’s very real to me. We have to secure that border. So that’s number one for me.


James Phillips

The Phillips campaign offered lengthy background and personal views but did not answer the questions asked by NSJ despite multiple contact attempts through social media platforms.


Siddanth Sharma

Siddanth Sharma is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

What sets me apart from every candidate is that I actually explain “how” to get the job done, while every other candidate just points out the problem and offers no solution. I am also the only candidate who is doing the job for free. Any salary will be donated to parks and playgrounds to be built in District 13 and other charitable events.

My number one priority is fighting inflation by lowering taxes which cuts down costs such as gas prices, groceries, etc.


Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

As a proud Veteran and Naval Intelligence Officer, I served this country, and that call to service doesn’t just go away. I was the first to endorse Trump. I’ve been in every county in NC-13 regularly for ten months and have been in the race the longest. I don’t spend my day dialing for dollars; I talk to everyday North Carolinians like myself about what matters most to them this election.

Once elected, I will take bold legislative action to hold China accountable for its crimes against the American people and to lower the costs of living for hard-working Americans. That means imposing sanctions against the CCP, banning CCP-owned farmland, reducing inflation, and ending the reckless spending in Washington.

I defended our nation from China, Russia, and other countries wanting to do our nation harm. When I came home to North Carolina, I realized a sad reality that our greatest foe is here at home, Joe Biden. His disastrous policies have destroyed our state, but help is on the way, and the first step is winning on March 5th.


Eric Stevenson

Eric Stevenson is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

Several qualities set me apart from some of my fellow candidates. Being born and raised in NC and actually living in and loving District 13 is one.  You can’t love what you don’t live in. I love my neighbors in District 13. I am the only candidate who has successfully been in war and completed 20+ years now being retired. That is a life of service and commitment to NC and the republic.

Stevenson also cited experience with federal government leadership experience at Fort Bragg, advocacy for transitioning soldiers, service at US Army Forces Command, participation in Army Suicide Fatality review boards, and five years as a Navy recruiter. Additionally, he has early experience observing forced diversity efforts, serves on a school board, works as a substitute teacher, teaches business improvement to community college students, and has been volunteering at a homeless shelter for over 15 years.

When I win the primary my top priority is to continue establishing relationships with committee leadership in Congress so I can be on the Veterans Affairs Committee to end soldier Suicide, as well as the financial committee to be a part of stopping the dangerous spending in Congress currently.


Fred Von Canon

Fred Von Canon is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I’m a veteran, successful businessman, not a lawyer or career politician. My life is Christ driven, and so is my campaign. I’m the only candidate who has committed to refuse a salary because I cannot be bought by the swamp, and I’m the only candidate who will take on the Democrats and the RINOs.

(When) I win, my top priority will be closing the border and getting a handle on the crisis Joe Biden has created down there. Our borders are open allowing drugs and illegals to pour in. I’ll stand up to anyone who delays fixing that problem – Biden, the Democrats, or the RINOs who refuse to take action. The DC swamp is out of control and, along with Joe Biden, is destroying our country. The family unit is under attack and the fate of our nation is at risk. Someone must stand in the breech and stop this insanity, which takes a strong backbone and a servant’s heart. I’m willing to do the job, and I’ll do it without taking a salary for the privilege of paying back to our country for allowing me to live the American Dream.


Steven Von Loor

Steve Von Loor is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

My campaign transcends personal ambition, it’s a resounding call for all citizens grappling in today’s challenging economy. I eschew self-promotion business gains, book sales, and the allure of an inflated social media presence. My focus is unwavering on service, not self. As a blue-collar every day man living the American dream, I embody the hopes, dreams and struggles of the hardworking majority. In an era of influence, I stand unyielding and unbought by the elite as well as the establishment. In an era of influence, I remain beholden only to the people. My commitment is more than rhetoric, my door will be wide open for We, the people fostering an era of accessible and transparent representation. I am a champion for the working class, I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk. I envision a new dawn advocating for a robust investment on our children’s education emphasizing on skill trades training

My top priority goes hand in hand to protect our national security as well as the return of manufacturing jobs increase job creation.


Kenny Xu 

Kenny Xu is a Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.

I’ve fought against Leftist tactics and won.  My experience understanding and effectively countering the Left in the Harvard and UNC admissions cases gives me the experience to directly take the fight to them in Congress and take on their big-spending and government dependency agenda.

About A.P. Dillon 1255 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_