Kenny Xu Statement on District 13 Residency

Kenny Xu Statement on District 13 Residency

Feb 6, 2024

As your Republican candidate for Congress based out of Raleigh, NC, I will pledge to move into District 13 should I have the honor of being elected your Republican nominee for Congress.

District 13 was created by the Republican state legislature in November 2023 for the purpose of providing a Republican-leaning district in the Triangle.  District 13 has no unifying charcteristics but includes many of the suburbs and exurbs of Raleigh, NC, including Lee, Harnett, Johnston, Wake, Franklin, Granville, Caswell, and Person County.  District 13 is not a longstanding creation with deep roots and history.  It is a long, winding District that is calibrated for political effect.  This has been the reality of North Carolina legislative politics for some time.

In part because of this constant flux, the NC Board of Elections states that a Congressional candidate does not have to live in the District to run in the District.  However, in part due to recent District 13 events, some voters frown upon a candidate's residency.  The topic has been brought up to me in several forums, public appearances, and private calls.  I wanted to directly answer these questions in a personal blog post.

I have lived in North Carolina for eight non-consecutive years, with a stint in Washington D.C. for about 1.5 years to gain critical political experience.  I own and run a Raleigh, NC nonprofit called Color Us United, which advocates for a race-blind society.  I have created several jobs and internships for District 13, with employees, interns, and former interns who currently live in the District.  I also have volunteers and advocates across District 13, which is why you see the proliferation of my signs in District 13.  I have been a member of standing for the entire Triangle region, including District 13.

Recently, because of my book and nonprofit success, I accumulated enough financial resources to buy my first house.  I bought it in June of 2023, in District 2, close to my office.  Then, in November 2023, the Republican legislature changed District 13 to be the lone Republican-leaning district in the Triangle region.  I am not personally wealthy and cannot afford to simply move right then and there for my political advantage in time for a December 2023 filing.  There are candidates in this primary that have just moved to District 13, and there are candidates that have declared in other districts, before changing districts once the new maps were announced.

Before the new maps were announced, I had started fundraising for a Congressional run.  I raised $78,000 before the new maps were announced and $150k since.  That is a large chunk of change and spending it on a 95-97% likely failing effort based on district politics is not impressive, or noble.  In fact, one could say it is foolish.  Several of my primary opponents agree.  That is why they have switched districts, moved around, and otherwise positioned themselves for a District 13 run.

The difference with me, however, is that I've taken the time to personally get to know as many people in District 13 as possible.  Whereas others have simply run TV ads thinking that would be enough to convince voters, I have knocked on thousands of doors and probably some of your neighbors' doors.  I have knocked on doors every day since December 2023.  I have knocked on doors of people in Angier, Fuquay-Varina, Clayton, Flowers, Selma, Erwin, Wake Forest, Creedmoor, Lillington, and many many other towns.  I have connected with the grassroots of Johnston County, leading me to place a very close 3rd in a recent Johnston County poll, despite being from Wake County.  (This will be a close election.)  People know what I've done.  People know my record, and my heart.  And I've spent every day getting up and making my best effort to meet the people of District 13 so I can effectively represent them in Congress.

And I've made the pledge: I will move to District 13 should I have the honor of being your Republican nominee for Congress.

It is the most fiscally prudent move for me and for you who support me to run in a District where I can win and successfully advocate for your conservative values.  The current District 2 is not there yet - by a longshot.  The current District 2 polling indicator is D+15.  The current District 13 indicator is R+6.  These numbers are the result of careful political and geographical engineering.  I must work within the rules of the game as it is, not as I want it to be.  I don't have hundreds of thousands of Super PAC dollars or my own personal wealth to spend on trying to overwhelm you with ads.  What I have is loyalty and commitment from a broad range of supporters.  I will honor everyone's commitment to my campaign by doing my sincere best to win.

I ask that as a voter you overlook my unique circumstances because of the recent District 13 situation and my own personal finances.  If you like me as an individual and as your potential Representative, this issue should not dissuade you from voting for me as I make a public commitment to move into the District with haste.

I also ask that the others who live outside the District, who have changed Districts, and who have just moved into the District answer the question in accordance with public wishes.


Thank you,

Kenny Xu

Republican for a Colorblind America