By Nathan Ham
North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson, a Democrat from Charlotte, announced on Tuesday that he will be seeking the United States Senate seat that will be open in 2022 following the retirement of current U.S. Senator Richard Burr.
Burr, who has recently had an FBI investigation into insider trading dropped, announced in 2016 that he would not be seeking re-election in 2022.
Jackson, 38, is the second Democrat and third candidate overall to make an announcement challenging for the spot in the senate. Democrat Erica Smith, who lost to Cal Cunningham in the most recent Democratic Primary in an attempt to unseat Republican Senator Thom Tillis, is also running. On the Republican ticket, former U.S. Representative Mark Walker has confirmed he is running for Burr’s seat.
“After hearing from thousands of you our family has made a decision: I’m running for US Senate,” said Sen Jackson. “I’m ready to run a campaign that raises your expectations and makes you proud to be from North Carolina. We have to go everywhere and talk to everyone: rural, urban, red, blue. We’re going to campaign from the heart, and I want you to be a part of it. I’ve been a soldier for 18 years, a dad for 10, and a state Senator for six — and here’s what I’ve learned: There is no shortcut to doing a good job. A real effort takes everything you’ve got. But if you really care, it won’t feel like work. It’ll just feel like doing the right thing.”
Fundraising Off to a Great Start
Less than 48 hours after announcing he will run for North Carolina’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2022, Democratic State Senator Jeff Jackson has raised more than $500,000.
With 90 percent of donations from North Carolinians, 78 percent of contributions under $100, and no contributions from PACs or self-funding, Senator Jackson’s campaign has strong grassroots support.
So far in North Carolina, Jackson’s fundraising is outperforming the only Republican primary candidate in the race, Mark Walker, who reported raising $366,918 in the first six weeks. Nationally, it also paces with Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman of Pennsylvania who raised over $500,000 72 hours after launching his exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate.
“We’re overwhelmed by the support from people across North Carolina,” Sen. Jackson. “We launched this campaign to stand up for people who need it – especially the families who have been impacted by the pandemic – and to raise everyone’s expectations of what their Senator can do for them. We’re going to run a true 100 county campaign and we’re grateful to see that’s the kind of campaign people want right now.”
North Carolina GOP Calls Jackson “Cal Jr.”
In a statement from the NC GOP, Jackson has already earned a nickname from the party.
“The NCGOP dubbed Jeff Jackson “Cal Jr.,” linking Jackson’s candidacy to the failed candidacy of his predecessor, Cal Cunningham. The NCGOP also noted how eerily similar initial first interviews were between Cal Sr and Cal Jr. They both dodged on lobbying for DSCC support, they both support divisive impeachment efforts and they both dodged criticism about diversity within the Democrat party. Many have even taken note of their uncanny resemblance to one another. Surprising no one, the North Carolina Republican Party will never support a liberal, Democrat like Cal Jr.; the real problem for Cal Jr. is how quickly and publicly North Carolina progressives panned his candidacy. The quick rejection of the progressive activist base could spell trouble for Cal Jr.’s chances of success in the Democrat Primary,” the statement sent by NC Republican Party Press Secretary Tim Wigginton read.
About Jeff Jackson
Senator Jackson became the second-youngest senator in the NCGA in 2014. He was new to political office, but not new to public service, having enlisted after the attacks of September 11th, trained at Ft. Bragg, and served in Afghanistan. He continues to serve today as a Captain in the Army National Guard. He is currently in his 18th year of military service.
Senator Jackson quickly built a reputation for being transparent, accessible, and candid. In office, he has helped lead the fight against gerrymandering and break the state’s GOP supermajority, stood against discriminatory legislation like HB2, supported investments in early childhood education, repeatedly called for raising teacher pay and expanding Medicaid, and fought for reforms for our criminal justice system.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit North Carolina, Senator Jackson prioritized community support over campaigning, regularly calling and emailing to update constituents and non-constituents alike on the status of community spread, hospital beds, vaccine distribution, and other critical information.
Senator Jackson was recently re-elected to represent SD-37 in the North Carolina Senate after the district was redrawn to be the most competitive senate seat in Charlotte. His wife, Marisa Jackson, helped close the race as Senator Jackson was called away on National Guard duty for the final weeks of the campaign.
Jeff and Marisa live in Charlotte with their three children Haden, 12, Owen, 5, and Avery, 2.