Joey Davis, a Montgomery County resident and 2018 Republican nominee for NC House District 66, hosted the official launch party in his campaign for his 2020 campaign on December 6th in Biscoe. The event attracted several local politicians, including four candidates for Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, and John Ritter, a candidate for Lt. Governor from neighboring Moore County.
In 2018 Democrat Ken Goodman reported raising $296,725 for the race, while Davis reported raising $7,239. Despite the sizeable gap in fundraising, the final tally for the race was surprisingly close with Goodman receiving 13,528 votes to Davis’ 12,432. Since the 2018 election, Goodman accepted a position within Roy Cooper’s administration, and Scott Brewer was appointed to fill his spot in the State House. Consequently, Democrats will have a candidate whose name has never before appeared on the ballot in this district, giving Republicans what is likely their best chance of ousting a Democratic candidate in 2020.
Davis’ speech focused heavily on the relationship between the General Assembly and Gov. Cooper, and highlighted differences between the two on tax cuts, ICE detentions, and a bill involving non-citizens and jury duty. Finally, Davis concluded by saying that while Rep. Brewer has consistently stood with the Governor on these issues that he would not. He also discussed the economic difficulties facing the Board of Commissioners in Montgomery County that have impacted the county’s ability to hire resource officers for schools, and has forced the county to increase taxes to cover basic services. He stated that the county’s tax rates are a contributing factor to the county’s continued economic woes.
The emphasis on Montgomery County issues carried with it a message for primary voters: Davis believes he is the candidate best positioned to carry that county against a Democrat in the fall, alluding to past campaigning experience, and personal connections in the area.
Davis will face Ben Moss of Richmond County in the March 3rd primary. Speaking to The Cycle after the event concluded, he stated he had concerns over whether Moss—if nominated—could carry the county in a general election.