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Candidate re-enters race for Congress

Denver journalist Ken Fortenberry says he is back in the race for the United States House of Representatives.

According to an announcement Fortenberry issued to area news media on Thursday, he has decided to re-enter the race against U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, just two weeks after saying he was dropping out.

Fortenberry told the Times-News in a phone call that he was “stunned” by the number of people who contacted him and encouraged him to keep his campaign alive after he pulled out. Since that time, he said he had “decided to go for it.”

In the press release, Fortenberry stated, “After consultation with friends, family, supporters and people throughout the district, I have decided to renew my campaign to fight for the working men and women of North Carolina.”

He also said people with whom he had spoken noted that he is not a career politician with a huge campaign account full of donations, which they saw as his strength, not his weakness.

Fortenberry also added that he has signed a pledge in favor of an amendment to limit the terms of members of the U.S. Congress and one that requires a balanced federal budget.

He concluded the announcement on an optimistic note by saying that “working together — instead of apart — I believe we can restore America’s strength and greatness, and give our young people hope that they can achieve the American dream.”

Fortenberry has previously run for other offices as a Democrat, but has changed his affiliation in recent years and would face McHenry in the Republican primary this spring.

Fortenberry isn’t the only contender to announce his candidacy for the U.S. House this week. Morganton business owner Vance Patterson, a Republican, entered the race for the 11th District, against Rep. Heath Shuler, a Democrat, according to a press release sent to the Times-News this morning.

Patterson previously ran against McHenry in the 10th District, but he lost by a significant margin in the primary. Redistricting by the North Carolina General Assembly has put his home in the 11th District, allowing him to challenge Shuler.



Staff Writer

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