NC House 35 has been unique as a swing district. Despite its potential to elect a representative from either major party, it took longer for the Republican party to recruit a candidate to challenge the Democratic incumbent than it did in other districts with the potential for seats to flip. Additionally, the Republicans have fielded two candidates in Fred Von Canon and Alma Peters. The winner of the primary will challenge incumbent Democrat Terrence Everitt.
While House 35 is one of the swing districts that the The Cycle has highlighted for 2020, it was always going to be a harder target for Republicans than other seats like District 43 in Cumberland County.
The first round of campaign finance reporting will be out soon, and a better picture will form of what these key swing districts in the State House will look like. For now, NC House District 35 looks to be the sharpest uphill climb for the Republicans because of a late start, the presence of a primary, and lack of any online campaign presence from either Republican candidate.
With absentee mail ballots being sent out on January 13th, just five days away, and early voting beginning next month, neither Von Canon nor Peters has established a strong online presence for their campaigns. It remains difficult to become informed about either candidate, but an old personal Facebook page for Alma Peters reveals that she has been politically inclined for a number of years, listing the conservative film Hating Breitbart (2012) among her favorites, along with the political commentary and news show Tucker Carlson. Federal Elections filings also reveal that she gave a donation to the Republican National Committee in 2008.
Fred Von Canon has a much more established personal presence online but, like Peters, does not have a campaign presence. The owner of Maverick Solutions, a computer training company, Von Canon is a veteran of the Navy where he served as a Data Systems Technician and then eventually went through flight training. In a December 23rd announcement on his personal Facebook page, Von Canon said that while he had a lot going on in his life he had decided to run because he felt that Rep. Everitt did not reflect his values. He further stated, “There are 11 NC House districts that contain some part of Wake County. All 11 are currently held by Democrats. I’m committed to taking this one back and I’m asking now for your help.”
Von Canon has a record of political involvement that goes at least back to 1992 when he gave a campaign donation to then U.S. Senate candidate Lauch Faircloth. More recently he has donated to the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz. Von Canon is open about his Christian faith and invokes God routinely in his social media posts. His political engagement is made evident on his personal Twitter account where he shares numerous posts about national affairs, almost always from a conservative perspective.
The other Wake County district being targeted as a potential pick up for the Republicans is on the southern end of the county in District 37 where Republicans Erin Paré and Jeff Moore face each other in a primary.