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Democrat Jeff Jackson jumps into North Carolina Senate race

Democrat Jeff Jackson jumps into North Carolina Senate race
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Democrat Jeff Jackson jumped into the race to succeed Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrRick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-N.C.) on Tuesday, joining what is expected to be one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate contests of the 2022 midterms.

Jackson, a 38-year-old serving in his fourth term in the state Senate, announced his campaign in a video posted online on Tuesday. 

“We’re going to make it a 100-county campaign. A true 100-county campaign,” he said in the video. “An organized effort to reach every county in the state, to cut through the noise and hear directly from you about what our state needs. And that means we’re going to be on the road a lot.”

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“We know how divided we are,” Jackson continued. “That’s why we have to go everywhere and talk to everyone. Rural, urban, red, blue. We’ll hold town halls in every single county in the state and we’ll use what we learn to build an agenda that’s actually tailored to our state. Not an agenda that’s imported from D.C. or from donors, but a North Carolina agenda. Something real.”

Jackson, a captain in the Army National Guard, is the second Democrat to enter the race to succeed Burr, who announced in 2016 that he would not run for a fourth term in 2022. Former North Carolina state Sen. Erica Smith, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (R-N.C.) last year, launched her campaign for Burr’s seat earlier this month.

On the Republican side is former Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerNorth Carolina GOP condemns Burr for impeachment vote against Trump Madison Cawthorn throws support behind Mark Walker in NC Senate primary Democrat Jeff Jackson jumps into North Carolina Senate race MORE (N.C.), who announced his Senate bid in December. Lara TrumpLara TrumpWhy Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors Graham: Lara Trump is biggest winner of impeachment trial MORE, the daughter-in-law of former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE, is also said to be weighing a campaign for Burr’s seat.

Jackson previously considered making a run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, but ultimately decided against it after meeting with then-Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRon Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra House Democrats' ambitious agenda set to run into Senate blockade MORE (D-N.Y.). Jackson went on to endorse Democrat Cal Cunningham in last year’s Senate primary.

Cunningham finished first in that nominating contest only to lose to Tillis in the November general election after his campaign was rocked by revelations of an extramarital affair.

But with Burr’s expected retirement, Democrats are once again eyeing North Carolina eagerly. 

Republicans will be defending 20 Senate seats to Democrats’ 14 in 2022. At the same time, Democrats’ dual wins in two Georgia Senate runoffs earlier this month have given the party renewed confidence in the South.