Appeals Court Considers Cawthorn Ballot Challenge

The Associated Press reports:

A federal appeals court questioned whether a lower court got it right when it blocked a challenge of North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s candidacy by voters who cited a section of the Constitution addressing insurrection as disqualifying him.

Three judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, heard arguments in a lawsuit that the first-term Republican congressman filed to derail the formal challenge sent to the State Board of Elections from going forward.

Cawthorn is one of eight candidates on the May 17 primary ballot for the 11th Congressional District. There’s no timetable on when the judicial panel will rule, but the court did accelerate the appeal process.

 The Asheville Citizen Times reports:

Another scandal has hit Western North Carolina’s troubled congressman with the release of a video in which Madison Cawthorn is apparently naked and thrusting his pelvis in a bed with another man.

In recent months Cawthorn has faced criticism for behavior and statements that included alleged ethics violations involving overpayment of a chief of staff, undeclared loans and gifts to a staffer who lives with him, bringing a loaded gun through an airport checkpoint, driving with a revoked license, accusations of insider trading and calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug.”

Some of the raciest came with photos of him dressed in lingerie, Cawthorn saying Republican officials in Washington did cocaine and held orgies and a video in which the staffer living with him, Stephen Smith, had an erotic conversation with Cawthorn and then appeared to put his hand on Cawthorn’s crotch.

The Insider reports:

Some voters preparing to cast their ballots in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, which covers much of the state’s western region, have decidedly mixed feelings about Cawthorn’s run for reelection.

“He’s dangerous,” said Philip, a longtime resident of Cawthorn’s hometown of Hendersonville, North Carolina, who declined to give his last name. “He has got to get out of here … He has lost a lot of respect in this community.”

Joy, an Asheville resident of 17 years who also declined to give her last name, told Insider that she thinks he is “crazy.” “I don’t agree with any of the ideas he has,” she said. “I think he is a wacko and they should take him off of anything that he is on.”