Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, a lesbian minister and county commissioner in North Carolina, announced her candidacy to replace Republican Representative Madison Cawthorn in next year's mid-term elections. She released a video to for the announcement and to denounce her opponent as a far-right extremist and insurrectionist who does not represent the values of the 11th congressional district. Beach-Ferrara is a familiar face in the local community both as an advocate for marriage equality and other LGBTQ+ rights in the region and also as a Buncombe County Commissioner.
"Some people will say a gay woman who's a Christian minister just can't get elected in the South, not to mention she's a Democrat," Beach-Ferrara says on the video. "I say an insurrectionist who flirts with Nazis, fires up a violent crowd to attack our democracy, well he shouldn't get reelected anywhere."
Cawthorn replaced outgoing Representative Mark Meadows who left to become President Trump's chief of staff in 2020. Cawthorn easily won the election to follow, but has since faced criticism and controversy for his recent support of insurrectionists, allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as a 2017 visit to the Eagle's Nest in Germany. The vacation home built high in the Alps for Adolph Hitler under the direction of his private secretary and chief of the Nazi party, Martin Borrman, is a popular destination for white supremacists and extremists. Cawthorn posted multiple pics of the 2017 visit to Instagram.
In the video announcing her candidacy, Beach-Ferrara called out Cawthorn but also highlighted why she believes she is the right person to represent western North Carolina, saying "families deserve better than they're getting from Madison Cawthorn.
She said her faith showed her that "leadership starts with empathy, compassion, and listening and then getting to work to help people" and contrasted her record with the "division and mean-spiritedness we're getting now" from Cawthorn and his allies.
"This is going to be a campaign built on bringing people together, finding common ground, organizing everywhere and talking about the issues that actually matter to people's lives," Beach-Ferrara said.
She warned people not to underestimate her, saying she knows what it's like to "beat the odds" after people counted her out.
"So with all due respect to the skeptics, this BBQ-loving, football-watching, proud Southern mom of three is running for Congress," Beach-Ferrara concluded in her video. "And you better believe I'm running to win."
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