With midterm elections coming up on Nov. 6, there are several interesting candidate races in North Carolina, one of which is the four-way race for Congressional House Seat 13. Incumbent Republican Ted Budd currently occupies the seat, with Democratic candidate Kathy Manning and Libertarian Tom Bailey also set to be on the November ballot. Green Party candidate, Robert Corriher, will also join those three.
Corriher is originally from Cherryville, North Carolina, which is part of Gaston County. He then went on to school at UNC-Chapel Hill where he graduated with degrees in both art and history. He has been involved in a number of political and community organizations, including Moral Monday, which is an organization based around civil disobedience formed in 2013.
After the Green Party Gained ballot access, Corriher decided to run for the house. Corriher believes that gradualism and “lesser evilism voting” has marginalized the poor and corrupted American democracy. His platform represents a radical break from the established system. With proposals ranging from the legalization of marijuana and improved Medicare to a $20 minimum wage and free college education, Corriher’s politics are far to the left of what most N.C. Democrats would be willing to run.
“What we have is this rare opportunity to kind of stick our foot in the door, and if nothing else, to make them sweat a little bit,” said Corriher. “Ideally what we want to do is use this as a way to grow our membership base.”
Corriher has been extremely critical of Democrat Kathy Manning.
“Kathy Manning talks about affordable healthcare but she never goes far enough, to say the least,” said Corriher. “All over the country they are running people like Kathy Manning, who stand for nothing, who have no real solutions, who are literally from the same class of people who are robbing us blind.”
He says that Manning’s family shapes policy to benefit their own private businesses.
“Kathy Manning’s husband stole 30 million dollars from Greensboro to build a parking deck. She is on the board of trustees of UNCG, which is doing all these land grabs in the Glenwood Neighborhood,” Corriher said. “They want to gentrify everything in the city limits of Greensboro.”
Corriher has also heavily criticized Republicans and Ted Budd.
“The Republican Party, as you can see with this Brett Kavanaugh thing, they live in a different world,” said Corriher.
Corriher’s campaign is heavily focused on aiding middle and lower class families.
“The first thing I would do is get rid of right to work laws,” said Corriher. “It is a law that doesn’t allow people to pay their union dues, it has crippled the labor movement.”
The campaign is built around independent grassroots funding, similar to that of Justin Miller, who is running for North Carolina House of Representatives, District 66.
Corriher often receives criticism that by running as third party candidate, he splits the vote and actually hinders progressive change. He believes that staying true to his ideals is more important than short-term expediency.
“The Democrats need to stop assuming that they will automatically get people to show up to vote. There is an entire half of the country that doesn’t even vote,” Corriher said. “I want to talk to that half of the country that’s not being engaged who see that Democrats and Republicans are not in favor of them.”
Corriher believes abolishing private prisons is essential to criminal justice reform.
“The profit motive is what causes people to be exploited,” Corriher said. “The Democrats take money from the same private prison companies that Republicans take money from. And until we build a viable third party, or string of third parties, that is never going to change.”
Although not an official part of his platform, Corriher is a socialist who opposes capitalism.
“I think we need to evolve beyond capitalism,” said Corriher.
Additional information about Corriher’s campaign can be found on his campaign website at https://robertcorriherforcongress.nationbuilder.com/ or on their Facebook page, “Robert Corriher for District 13.”
Note: Corriher’s claim that the Manning family stole city funds from Greensboro has been rated by Politifact as false.