Former N.C. State receiver announces bid for Congress
“I’m thrilled to announce that I am running for Congress to represent the great people of North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. Over the next few months, I will be traveling across the district. I look forward to meeting every one of you.”
—Bo Hines, in announcing his run for Congress 1/20/2021
Bo Hines has plenty of plans over the next two years. He will graduate from Wake Forest University School of Law in December, he is getting married, and last month he announced a run for Congress in North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. Something he has been planning since walking away from a promising start in ACC football.
In 2014, after a stellar high school run at Charlotte Christian, Hines’ football career at N.C. State was taking off. As a true freshman in 2014, the 6-1, 205-pound slot receiver led the Wolfpack in catches (45) and receiving yards (616). As recalled by the News and Observer’s Joe Giglio in 2017, Hines’ brightest moment came against Florida State on Sept. 27 at Carter-Finley Stadium. On the second play of the game, Hines fooled FSU safety Tyler Hunter with a double move and then caught the ball at the FSU 30-yard line. He ran untouched into the end zone for a 54-yard score.
N.C. State jumped out to a 24-7 lead on the No. 1-ranked team before losing 56-41. Hines finished with eight catches for 103 yards. The touchdown wound up being the only one of his college career. Hines earned Freshman All-American honors for his season performance.
But with an eye on a future in politics, Hines decided to transfer from N.C. State to Yale in 2015.
Hines thought Yale would give him a head start on his political career, and he would still have a chance to make the NFL.
But injuries derailed much of his playing career at Yale.
He needed surgery on his right shoulder after the 2015 season.
A broken collarbone kept him off the field for the 2016 season. He tried to rehabilitate, but he came to realize that another injury to his shoulder could cause lifetime consequences. It was not worth the risk. He took it as a signal from God it was time to move on toward a career in public service.
“My family is originally from Indiana,” he said. “My dad grew up on a chicken farm, and my mom grew up on a hog farm — both from rural parts of the state.
My dad got in the licensing apparel business in the early ’90s, and he did a lot of work for NASCAR,” Hines added.
“I was able to watch his company evolve, as a child and into my teens. Just seeing how they had to deal with government policies and government regulations and how it really impacted their business as a small business owner really incentivized me to start looking at politics and understanding how government policy has an impact — not only economically but with social policy.”
Hines interned with Indiana governor Eric Holcomb and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota. While working for Rounds, Hines was part of the senator’s team to come up with a health care alternative for the Affordable Care Act, at the time President Trump was attempting to repeal the act. Hines also worked briefly in the office of U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina’s 9th District.
In an interview with Carolina Journal, just after announcing his bid on social media, Hines said a new generation of young conservatives are needed to fight social media companies that are censoring ideas and speech in the public arena.
“I am not a big government regulation guy, but [they] want to be public squares and platforms for free speech or they want to be content regulators.”
On his website, Hines states that “Big tech companies are silencing conservative Americans. Politicians in Washington do not understand these issues and have failed to take action to protect our rights. We must hold these tech companies accountable and regulate them as public utilities.”
Hines added: “I think banning free speech is more dangerous than allowing it, in any circumstance.”
Hines has other key issues on his mind.
“To fight for fair trade, creating and protecting good jobs and economic opportunities. To fight to invest in our infrastructure and negotiate quality affordable health care. To fight for regulation reform that simplifies business. To fight against the tyranny of mobs and big tech companies that want to take away our God-given rights. And to fight to make sure your vote is counted at the ballot box and your voice is heard in Washington, D.C.”
Hines knows he is taking on a big task. With the legislature mandated to redraw the congressional districts, he does not even know exactly what the 5th District will look like. He now lives just outside the 5th, in the 6th Congressional District. That district is currently represented by freshman Democrat Kathy Manning.
Rep. Virginia Foxx, who has represented the 5th District since 2004, has proved to be one of the most popular Republicans in North Carolina.
Foxx trounced GOP primary challengers in 2014, 2016, and 2018, never receiving less than 67% of the primary vote. She has won each of her recent general election campaigns by roughly 66%, defeating Democrat David Brown in 2020, 67% to 31%.
“I think she has served the district honorably, and she has served a long time. I think it is time for a fresh voice. I think it is time for fresh representation, and I don’t believe lifelong politicians serve the best interest of our party,” said Hines in an interview with CJ.
“Currently in the Republican Party, especially at the congressional level, I think we have a lot of people that are stagnant and complacent. We have a lot of long-term incumbents that have been there a long time. If you see the movement on the left, you are watching these young congressional figures push policies that we really need to stand up and fight against. I think it is going to take some young tenacious conservatives that truly believe in constitutional values and individual responsibilities to push back against these ideological principles that are being forced down our throat by the left.”
In an email response to the Gaston Gazette, Foxx said the nation needs experienced leaders with proven track records.
“Folks all across western North Carolina know me very well,” Foxx said. “They know my tireless work ethic and my dedication to conservative ideas. I am proud of my reputation as a problem-solver who listens to constituents and serves to represent their interests alone.”
Hines says he favors eight-year term limits in the U.S. House and 12 to 18-year term limits in the U.S. Senate.