U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx is facing opposition in her bid to represent the newly drawn 5th Congressional District, and the first round is coming from her political right on Tuesday.
Pattie Curran, 47, is from Kernersville. The Army National Guard veteran, Louisiana State University graduate and mother of three says Foxx just isn’t “an actual conservative.”
The stay-at-home mom said she’s never run for public office prior to filing for the Congressional seat. However, she has been an “activist” for more than a decade, working for groups such as the Heritage Foundation.
She said there’s a reason for making her political debut at such a level.
“I feel like we can’t govern ourselves because of an overreaching federal government,” explained Curran. “That’s why I’m running for Congress.”
“I will be an actual conservative,” remarked Curran, before listing issues such as de-funding Planned Parenthood, Second Amendment rights, Syrian refugees and repealing Obamacare.
“Virginia Foxx voted to re-authorize No Child Left Behind. Would she have done that if she was a true conservative?” questioned Curran.
“She voted for a $1.1 trillion spending bill which funded Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.”
Curran said she had knocked on more than 11,000 doors in the 5th District in an interview in mid-May. Her campaign is “about we the people, and taking back what’s rightfully ours.”
Foxx, 72, is a seasoned politician who lives in Banner Elk. If re-elected she would enter her sixth term in Congress. Originally from New York, Foxx served 10 years in the North Carolina Senate and about 12 on the Watauga County School Board prior to taking her seat in Congress.
She said Curran’s view of her conservative record is a bit twisted, perhaps as a result of not understanding the way the Constitution sets up the federal government.
“There’s some folks out there — like talk radio hosts and even some people on Fox News — who have drilled into people’s heads the House (of Representatives) alone has the power of the purse,” explained Foxx.
Foxx said the Constitution mandates all budget legislation originate in the lower chamber, but the House “has no unilateral authority” in setting the budget. The Senate may add amendments to any spending bills, and ultimately — without a veto-proof majority — the president must also be willing to sign a bill.
“I’ve voted about 60 times to repeal Obamacare,” noted Foxx. “I was on the conference committee that got rid of Common Core, and I wrote the legislation to form a committee to investigate Planned Parenthood and the sale of body parts from (unborn) babies.”
She said the stand of Curran and other right-wingers in choosing spending bills as the place to draw the line is misguided.
“In history, we’ve found a government shutdown isn’t advantageous for anybody,” said Foxx. “Shutting down the government and not paying our troops wouldn’t have been the right or the smart thing to do.”
“We passed a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and the president vetoed it. We didn’t have the majority to override that veto.”
She said the GOP-controlled House reduced federal government spending by more than $850 billion last year, and other successes might be measured a little differently.
“Some other accomplishments are the things we’ve stopped Barack Obama from doing,” explained Foxx. “We’ve kept him from passing anti-gun legislation and expanding other ideals.”
“Had we not done that, it would be even worse in terms of government control and spending.”
If voters grant her another term, Foxx said she will continue to put matters like defeating ISIS, securing the nation’s borders, balancing budgets and promoting pro-life issues on the top of her agenda.
She said she will continue her run in Congress until she sees a sign from above it’s time to quit.
“I’m really at a good place to represent our district in terms of seniority and position,” said Foxx, who was recently named by House Speaker Paul Ryan to co-chair the Platform Committee for this year’s Republican National Convention.
“I’m a principled conservative who will fight for the people of our district.”
Tuesday is take-two for N.C. Congressional candidates. After a federal court ordered districts be redrawn, results from the March primary became null and void, and the special primary was scheduled for Tuesday.
Though Surry County voters were in the 6th Congressional District when voting in the primary in March, the redistricting process resulted in Surry County once again becoming part of the 5th District.
Foxx or Curran will square-off against the winner of Tuesday’s democratic primary — Jim Roberts, Charlie Wallin or Josh Brannon — in the November general election.
Voters will also have the opportunity to choose from a field of four vying for a seat on the N.C. Supreme Court. The top two vote-getters in that race will square off against each other in November.
Polls are open on Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.