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In depth with congressional candidates Jeff Jackson and Pat Harrigan

Pat Harrigan, left, and Jeff Jackson.
Harrigan for Congress and Steve Harrison/WFAE
Pat Harrigan, left, and Jeff Jackson.

The two candidates for North Carolina’s 14th Congressional District join us today: Democrat Jeff Jackson and Republican Pat Harrigan. Their differences will certainly be clear, but they also have something in common: Both served in Afghanistan.

The 14th is a new district that covers southern Mecklenburg and much of Gaston County, stretching roughly from Matthews to Kings Mountain. It’s a district that leans blue but is no gimme for Democrats. It’s also a district that’s expected to be redrawn for the 2024 election.

Pat Harrigan grew up in California and Wyoming before heading to West Point. He graduated with a degree in nuclear engineering and served 18 months in Afghanistan. He moved to North Carolina to complete his Special Forces training. Harrigan and his wife now run a company in Burke County that manufactures handguns and semiautomatic, military-style rifles. He says the U.S.’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan helped inspire him to run for Congress.

Like his opponent, Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg County is an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. He’s now a major in the North Carolina National Guard.

Jackson represented Mecklenburg County in the state Senate since 2014. He’s also an attorney in Charlotte.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
Tim Funk is one of the hosts of the "Inside Politics: Election 2022 podcast." He spent most of his 40-year journalism career at The Charlotte Observer, covering politics in its Raleigh bureau and, later, as its Washington correspondent. His other Observer beats over the years included race and immigration, TV and radio, and faith & values.
Jim Morrill is a native of the Chicago area who's worked in the Carolinas since 1979. He covered politics and government for the Charlotte Observer for almost 40 years. He's won several press awards and in 1999 was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He's taught about NC politics at UNC-Charlotte and Davidson College.