Buck Newton eyes return to elected office
Former Wilson County N.C. Sen. Buck Newton, the Republican nominee for state attorney general in 2016, is likely to run for public office in 2022, Newton confirmed in an interview with Carolina Journal.
Newton won N.C. Senate District 11 in 2010, winning re-election in 2012 and 2014. Newton is an attorney by trade.
In 2016, Newton was the Republican nominee for N.C. Attorney General, losing to Democrat Josh Stein by 25,000 votes, a 0.5% margin.
Newton has since served as an officer in the N.C. Republican Party.
“I have for some time been looking at returning to public service,” Newton tells CJ while declining to say exactly what his plans are.
The most likely destination is the newly drawn N.C. Senate 4, which includes his home of Wilson County, as well as Wayne and Greene. The district voted for Trump by six points, 52.5% over Biden 46.5% in 2020. In the closest statewide race of 2020, the race for chief justice of the state Supreme Court, Republican Paul Newby bested Justice Cheri Beasley 52-48%.
Current Democrat Sen. Toby Fitch, also from Wilson County, is the only incumbent senator in the district. He is a retired N.C. Superior Court judge, having served from 2002 to 2018. Fitch also served in the state House of Representatives from 1985 to 2001, before serving as a judge. Fitch is one of only two Democrat state senators that has ever served in a Democrat majority, albeit when he was in the N.C. House.
While an attempted return to the state Senate appears to be where Newton is leaning, he is also considering a run for U.S. House. Wilson County is in the newly drawn 2nd Congressional District, a slightly Democratic-leaning seat similar to the current 1st Congressional District, represented by G.K. Butterfield. Going into redistricting, the Butterfield district was the most under-populated district in the state and needed tens of thousands of new voters, while many districts across North Carolina were overpopulated, leading to the state adding a 14th congressional seat.
The new 17-county 2nd Congressional seat runs along North Carolina’s northeast border from Caswell to Washington counties.
The new map turns Butterfield’s seat from a safe seat to Democratic-leaning, but highly competitive, seat.
As reported by CBS 17, Butterfield supports litigation over his new congressional district design, saying it is unfair to minority voters.