Alan Swain and Deborah Ross vie to represent North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District

  • Democrat Deborah Ross is running against Republican Alain Swain for North Carolina's newly redrawn second congressional district.
  • Ross, a former member fo the North Carolina House of Representatives, has far outpaced Swain, a US Army veteran who worked in high-level military positions, in fundraising. 
  • The new second district created after court-ordered 2019 redistricting now includes the safely-Democratic capital city of Raleigh and some of the surrounding suburbs. 
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The candidates

Democrat Deborah Ross, an attorney and former longtime member of the North Carolina legislature, is running against Republican Alain Swain for North Carolina's newly redrawn second congressional district.

The current incumbent, GOP Rep. George Holding, is now retiring after the second district was redrawn to be more favorable to Democrats following a 2019 court order. 

Ross served in the North Carolina House of Representatives for ten years, where she focused much of her time on bolstering civil and voting rights, two prominent issues that have divided the state's legislature and captured national attention over the past decade.

Swain served in the US Army for 26 years, including in several high-level roles at the Pentagon and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to his campaign website, and has worked on drug policy under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Since then, he's run a government contracting company out of the North Carolina area. 

The district

The new boundaries of North Carolina's second district were recently drawn after a court ordered the North Carolina legislature to redraw its entire congressional district maps in 2019, ruling that the previous map drawn by the GOP-controlled legislature disenfranchised voters from participating in fair elections by unfairly favoring Republicans.

While North Carolina's previous 13-district map had 10 districts that favored Republicans and three that favored Democrats, the new map contains eight districts that favor Republicans and five that favor Democrats, including the re-drawn second and sixth districts. 

The new second district now includes the safely-Democratic capital city of Raleigh and some of the surrounding suburbs. 

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Ross has raised $1.3 million – significantly more than Swain who has raised only $65,000. Swain has spent only $47,000 in this election compared to Ross' $868,000. Ross currently has over $473,000 in cash on hand compared to just $18,000 for Swain. 

What experts say

The election between Ross and Swain is rated as "likely Democratic" by Inside Elections and The Cook Political Report, and "safe Democratic" by Sabato 's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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