Home Local News ‘It takes a Marine to beat a Marine’: Ridenhour enters 9th District...

‘It takes a Marine to beat a Marine’: Ridenhour enters 9th District race

ROCKINGHAM — Dan McCready won’t be the only retired Marine running for the 9th Congressional District, as former Mecklenberg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour— saying “It takes a Marine to beat a Marine  announced in a press release Wednesday that he was jumping in the race, bringing the field of GOP candidates to five for the special election.

Ridenhour grew up in Charlotte and joined the Marine Corps in 2001, according to the release. He was deployed to Iraq in 2005, as a member of a Provisional Rifle Company, “spending his time walking the streets looking for IEDs, standing post on the perimeter of the base, and conducting vehicle searches for contraband and weapons.”

He went back to Iraq in 2007, working with a military police company tasked with providing convoy security on missions throughout the Al-Anbar province

“As a Marine who volunteered to be deployed twice to war zones, I have served our country in some of the toughest situations under the toughest of circumstances,” Ridenhour said in a statement. “I’m disgusted by what I see in D.C. — politicians who can’t get results and hard-working Americans who are subservient to monied lobbyists. In the Marines we learn about selfless sacrifice, honesty, and overcoming complex problems with perseverance to win. Yet right now, America has many complex challenges that are being pushed to the back burner.”

Ridenhour was elected to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 2012 where “he led the successful vote to protect the 2nd amendment rights of citizens on county property and has been a consistent, conservative voice for fiscal conservatism by leading the fight to return $70 million to taxpayers after the failed county property reevaluation.”

“Now more than ever our country and our state need leaders who are honest, who put the interests of North Carolina families ahead of their own, and who will fight every day for our American liberties and freedoms,” he said. “With the Democrat Party’s takeover of the U.S. House, the voices of socialists are growing louder and louder. They want to put America’s small-businesses out of business with unfathomably high tax rates. They want to ban air travel, farming, and bankrupt our country. I’ve fought for our freedoms abroad and I’ll fight for them in Congress.”

During the campaign against Mark Harris in last year’s election, McCready quite frequently brought up his military past.

Harris had 905 votes over McCready following the election, which the N.C. State Board of Elections refused to certify due to allegations of election fraud in Bladen County — which led to criminal charges being filed against McCrae Dowless, who was hired by Harris for get-out-the-vote efforts.

The board called for special election, with Harris — citing poor health — saying he would not run again.

Since then, several Republicans have come out of the woodwork announcing their intention to run, including Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing, who was endorsed by Harris; state Sen. Dan Bishop; and Fayetteville businesswoman Stevie Rivenbark, who announced via YouTube on Monday.

Wake County Republican David Blackwelder has also said he plans to run. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t require members of the U.S. House of Representatives to live in the district they’re elected to represent, only the state.


Clarence Goins Jr., who was the only candidate in the original race not from Mecklenburg County, said that he hadn’t ruled out running again.

Another possible name being mentioned is former state Sen. Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw.

Several others in the district, including former governor Pat McCrory and Union County GOP Chairman Dan Barry, have said they will not run.

While it is possible McCready could be challenged in the primary, Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin told the RO that he hasn’t heard any other names mentioned.

Libertarian Jeff Scott, who has been critical of McCready for refusing to answer questions of substance, has also told the RO that he plans to run again.

The race will also be open to the Green and Constitution parties, which were recognized by the state last year.

Filing begins Monday for the May 14 primary. The general election will be Sept. 10, unless a second primary is needed, in which case the general election will be Nov. 5.

The 9th Congressional District includes Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Union counties, as well as parts of Mecklenburg, Bladen and Cumberland counties.

The seat has been vacant for three months. Congress was sworn in Jan. 3.

Former Rep. Robert Pittenger was defeated by Harris in the 2018 Republican primary.


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.