Madison Cawthorn A No-Show At GOP Primary Debate

Asheville’s ABC News affiliate reports:

Seven Republican candidates for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District seat squared off in a debate Monday night at the WNC Ag Center as the May 17 primary inches closer.

Noticeably absent from the debate was Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the man currently holding the seat the other candidates are vying for — and the only GOP NC 11 candidate who didn’t participate Monday night.

His competitors used the empty seat on stage, presumably set for the freshman congressman, as a symbol of his time in office.

The Daily Beast reports:

It wasn’t long ago that nearly everyone in the room could say they were, proudly, Madison Cawthorn people. But in his 15 months in office, Cawthorn has amassed a streak of scandals, strategic misfires, and baffling statements that haven’t just tarnished the GOP faithful’s pride in him—they’ve sapped his support.

“At first, I thought it was the liberal media ganging up on him,” said Frank, an older man at the debate, who declined to give his last name. “Now, I’m thinking he’s not cut out for it.”

Richard Bennett, of nearby Brevard, admitted he was “a little disappointed” in Cawthorn. “He seems,” Bennett said, “to have come unscrewed.”