Barfield says he’s serious contender in House race - WNCN: News, Weather

Barfield says he’s serious contender in House race

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Jonathan Barfield says he’s winning the support of voters thanks to a number of high-profile endorsements. Jonathan Barfield says he’s winning the support of voters thanks to a number of high-profile endorsements.

If you've watched much television lately, chances are you've seen a commercial featuring David Rouzer, who won the Republican primary for the 7th congressional district House seat Tuesday. 

But Jonathan Barfield's face may not be as familiar - especially to people outside Wilmington. 

The Democrat, who is a New Hanover County commissioner, won his primary contest without advertising on tv and by raising only about $12,000, according to the latest campaign reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission. 

Rouzer took in more than $760,000. 

"It's not about money," Barfield said. "It's about connecting with people." And Barfield says he's connecting with lots of people thanks to endorsements from the National Educators Association, North Carolina Association of Educators, and the AFL CIO.

"You can't buy those kind of endorsements. You can't pay enough to get that kind of influence. Every educator in this state, in this district is being encouraged to vote for Barfield for Congress," the candidate said. 

It's not just money that separates Barfield and Rouzer. They're also divided on policies like the Affordable Care Act. Rouzer wants to repeal it, but Barfield supports the controversial law that's been snubbed even by some Democrats like retiring Congressman Mike McIntyre, who is part of a shrinking group of conservative blue-dog Democrats. 

"I find that most folks don't care whether you're a blue dog Democrat, or a yellow dog," Barfield said. "They just want a dog that will fight and hunt for them. And that's what we bring to the table. My concern is making sure I do the right things for the citizens here, [regardless] of party labels." 

To win in November, Barfield will need support from voters across the political spectrum. Democrats make up only 43 percent of his district, so Barfield's counting on unaffiliated voters and Republicans. 

But he likely faces an uphill battle. The Cook Political Report is among the national political organizations that forecast a GOP victory in the fall. The Report classifies North Carolina's 7th district as "likely Republican." 

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