If Democrats are going to take back the U.S. House of Representatives, they’re going to have to win districts like NC-09. About half the voters live in Charlotte and its eastern suburbs and the other half live in the rural counties of south-central North Carolina. While registered Democrats make up a plurality of the voters, many of them have been voting Republican and the unaffiliated voters are generally conservative. To win, Democrats need someone focused on the future and the district, not someone committed to the resistance.
Dan McCready is that type of candidate. He brings virtually all the attributes to the table to build a successful campaign in today’s political environment. He fits the district. He can raise the resources. And he’s in it for the right reasons.
McCready entered the race in mid-May and will report raising more than $450,000 in his first six weeks or so as a candidate. That’s almost unprecedented for a first-time Congressional candidate in North Carolina. He clearly has the network and excitement to fund his campaign and he’s willing to put in the work to do it.
But it’s not the money that makes McCready such a great candidate. In a year (or decade) when voters are fed up with politics as usual, McCready is a newcomer to politics. He got involved because as a father of four, including a daughter born in June, the 2016 election left him concerned with the state of our country. He and his wife felt called to step up because of a belief that we need new leaders more devoted to public service than partisan politics to get us back on the right track.
McCready’s background offers something for every part of the diverse district that stretches from Charlotte to Bladen County. He grew up in southeast Charlotte and graduated from Myers Park High School in the district. After graduating from Duke, serving in the Marines, and getting an MBA from Harvard, he returned home to build a business financing solar projects. His ties to the Charlotte business community run deep. Those connections will help fund his campaign and allow him to earn votes from Republicans and independents unhappy with the shenanigans in the Trump administration and looking for levelheaded competence. His business experience will also appeal to voters in areas of the district that have struggled to recover from the recession and are desperate for new jobs.
McCready’s military background can carry him a long way in the most eastern part of the district as well as the rural counties that run along the South Carolina border. Fort Bragg plays heavily in the Cumberland County portion of the district and has an economic impact on neighboring Bladen and Robeson Counties. McCready’s time in Iraq proves his patriotism and willingness to sacrifice, values reflected across North Carolina, especially our rural communities.
Finally, McCready is a man of faith. He was baptized in water from the Euphrates River while serving in Iraq. Not only is this a great story, but his faith journey allows him to connect with the religious constituents who make up much of the district. McCready clearly shares and can speak to many of their values.
McCready is an exceptional candidate because of who he is. He’s a man committed to change and is willing to work to make it happen. His values have broad appeal across a diverse district. His success as a businessman and his service as a Marine provide him a perspective that’s needed in Washington and respected by the voters. His impressive fundraising haul shows that he will have the money to fund a campaign in a district that spans multiple media markets.
McCready fits the district because he’s representative of the people who live there. If Democrats want to win in 2018, they need more candidates like him.
Editor’s note: I’ve been urging Dan to run for this seat since since before he decided to become a candidate. In helping him get off the ground, I’ve been paid for certain services. Because of that compensation, we’ve included a disclaimer. That said, I would be writing this piece regardless. I encouraged Dan to run because I believe in him and I believe he is the right candidate for the district.
Paid for by McCready for Congress
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >