The Carolina Journal has learned that Jeff Hauser, a current NCGA House staffer and experienced Republican operative, will announce an exploratory committee for the 13th U.S. Congressional District on Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Wiley Nickel, D-Wake, is the district’s incumbent.

Hauser is currently a research assistant for state Rep. Kristin Baker, M.D., R-Cabarrus. Baker also serves as the deputy majority whip for the House.

“I set up this committee to analyze my options after receiving several calls to consider a run,” said Hauser. “There is still some time before redistricting begins, and I’m looking forward to exploring the process of potentially running for Congress.”

In terms of experience, Hauser cites his work on Senate Bill 20, North Carolina’s new abortion restriction legislation that the General Assembly passed in May. The legislation bans elective abortions after 12 weeks of fetal development while allowing exceptions in the second and third trimesters for various circumstances, including rape, incest, fetal abnormality, and the life of the mother.

Hauser has also worked as a staffer for Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Brenden Jones and former Finance Co-Chair Rep. Bill Brawley, assisting with the 2017 House tax package and human trafficking legislation

Additionally, Hauser served as the NCGOP’s Communications Director from 2018 to 2019 and has worked on the campaigns of congressional candidate Taylor Griffin and Governor Pat McCrory. Hauser began his political career doing tracking and research for the conservative opposition research firm America Rising during the 2014 cycle. 

Hauser says he lives in Johnston County with his wife and three children. 

In addition to Hauser, Rep. Erin Paré, R-Wake, is also weighing a run for Congress, and Devan Barbour and Josh McConkey have already declared for the 13th Congressional District. According to a source close to him, Bo Hines is uncertain whether or not he will run for Congress in 2024.

However, redistricting complicates matters for potential candidates.


House sources inside the General Assembly say lawmakers are heavily considering congressional maps similar to the ones they drew in 2021. In this scenario, the district numbers change significantly, and Hauser and Devan Barbour would likely run in the 4th District, while McConkey and Paré would eye the 7th District.

On the fundraising front, Nickel raised over half a million dollars in the second quarter of 2023. His Republican counterparts McConkey, Barbour, and Hines raised $311,380, $55,400, and $29,454.40, respectively.

Paré has not officially declared or filed a federal campaign committee.

Barbour, who placed second in the 2022 Republican primary for the 13th District, has been named in a lawsuit that has garnered some attention in Johnston County. According to sources, Barbour has privately denied the allegations, but cannot speak publicly on the matter due to the pending court case.