ROCKY MOUNT — Sandy Smith of Nash County is hoping the third time is the charm in her bid for Congress in North Carolina’s First Congressional District which includes Perquimans County.
This is Smith’s third bid for the office. In 2020, after winning the Republican primary in a landslide, Smith was defeated by then incumbent Congressman G.K. Butterfield, who won with 52.4% of the vote to Smith’s 47.6%.
Then in March 2022, Smith again won the Republican primary, collecting 31.4% of the vote in a field that included six other Republican candidates. But in the November 2022 General Election, she lost to Democrat Don Davis, who garnered 134,996 votes to Smith’s 122,780 votes.
This March, her opponent in the GOP primary is retired U.S. Army Col. Laurie Buckhout. Davis is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Libertarian candidate Tom Bailey will also be on the November ballot.
Smith said First District Republicans should choose her over Buckhout in the primary because she knows their struggles.
“Because I am representative of them, not what some political consultant in D.C. thinks should represent them,” Smith said. “I have lived here for more than 10 minutes. That means I understand the people, the issues, what’s important to us. I have teamed up with (former) President (Donald) Trump before to fight for America First issues, and the people of our district have seen that many times already. I have fought already for our causes. I didn’t just parachute into the district to run for office here.”
Smith touted her eastern North Carolina roots, noting that she attended East Carolina University. “I have roots here; I am Eastern North Carolina,” said Smith.
Smith also says she’s the best candidate to beat Davis in November.
“I am more like the people of our district,” Smith said. “The current Democrat incumbent was installed by Nancy Pelosi, spending millions of dollars in dark money to get him there. As a result, he voted like he was from San Francisco. He voted against closing our borders, voted against protecting our children and voted for out-of-control inflation. Only someone who is of our district, who truly understands it, will win the general (election). That’s why I’ve always over-performed in our district.”
Describing her platform, Smith said, “Put America first — meaning defend our border, defend election integrity and defend America. My focus is on halting (President Joe) Biden’s liberal agenda, ensuring election security and strengthening border security to crack down on illegal immigration.”
Smith said she is committed to addressing other issues such as fentanyl trafficking and dismantling drug cartels. She also said she supports farmers, gun rights and expanding oil and gas production.
“I support our veterans and our law enforcement, and I will defend parental rights, uphold the sanctity of life and preserve the history of Fort Bragg’s name,” Smith said.