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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 BurrThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 21 senators 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 TillisThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? On The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 21 senators 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 WalkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters Past criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries Trump endorsement shakes up GOP Senate primary in NC MORE (N.C.), who announced his Senate bid in December. Lara TrumpLara TrumpPast criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries Trump endorsement shakes up GOP Senate primary in NC Lara Trump calls on Americans at border to 'arm up and get guns and be ready' MORE, the daughter-in-law of former President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC 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 SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' 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.