Jeff Hunt, a Republican district attorney for three counties in western North Carolina, announced Tuesday he is running to take on Rep. Heath Shuler (D) in the 11th district.
“For the last five years the 11th District has not had a strong leader fighting on its behalf in Congress and we cannot afford more of the same,” Hunt said in a statement. “Getting our economy back on track begins by getting rid of Heath Shuler.”
Hunt joins two other GOP opponents in the race to unseat the vulnerable Shuler. Tea-party-aligned ophthalmologist Dan Eichenbaum and retired Army Col. Spence Campbell have declared their candidacies in the GOP primary.
The 11th district is set to become considerably more Republican under a new map redrawn by the Republican-controlled state Legislature.
The state Legislature is likely to finalize maps within weeks. Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue cannot veto a redistricting map under state law. The Department of Justice of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia must preclear new lines before they can be enforced.