Holding, Coleman battle for 2nd District heating up

Raleigh, N.C. — The 2nd Congressional District race pitting Republican Congressman George Holding against well-known Democrat Linda Coleman has been heating up the airwaves in recent weeks.

The race has attracted more than $2.3 million in ad spending so far – it is the most expensive campaign in North Carolina this fall – bombarding TV viewers across the Triangle with allegations of tardy tax payments, sanctuary cities and favoritism toward pharmaceutical companies and insurers.

Holding is seeking his fourth term in the U.S. House. Before he was first elected in 2012, he served as U.S. attorney for eastern North Carolina, appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Coleman has served as a Wake County commissioner, a member of the state House and director of state personnel under former Gov. Bev Perdue. She twice ran for lieutenant governor, narrowly losing both times to Republican Dan Forest.

Although Holding campaigns as a deficit hawk, he did vote for two tax cut packages backed by President Donald Trump that have increased the national debt. Holding credits the cuts with jump-starting economic growth.

“The tax cuts work. We see that with empirical evidence – lowest unemployment rate since the 1960s – and we need to make the tax cuts for individuals permanent now,” Holding said during a recent appearance on WRAL News‘ “On the Record” program.

Coleman said she would be more responsive than Holding to working families in the 2nd District.

“That voice has not been heard for the people of the 2nd District,” she said during the “On the Record” episode. “You need to have a voice. You need to have people who represent your interests, who understand your interest and who understand your values.”

Holding has a large fundraising advantage – he‘s raised $2.5 million this cycle to Coleman‘s $689,000 – but Coleman has been helped by more than $1 million in TV ads from third-party groups. National Democrats are eyeing the seat as a potential pick-up, but Meredith College political science professor David McLennan remains skeptical.

“If he were to lose to Coleman, that would be considered a pretty big upset,” McLennan said. “It‘s just because of how the district is drawn, [and] he‘s a fairly long-standing incumbent.”

Libertarian Jeff Matemu also is in the race. An immigration attorney from Holly Springs, his main issues include immigration reform and criminal justice reform.