Former Army Sargeant Jason Thigpen filed paperwork to run for a seat in Congress held by Rep. Walter B. Jones
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A recipient of the Purple Heart is taking a step into politics, and challenging one of North Carolina's longest serving members of Congress.
Jason Thigpen filed a "Statement of Organization" Monday with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the District 3 House seat held since 1995 by Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones of Farmville. The District runs through parts of New Hanover and Pender Counties after being redrawn in 2011 by the North Carolina General Assembly. Click here to see a map of the state's Congressional Districts.
On October 31st, Thigpen changed his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat. A statement on his campaign website explained the reasons for the decision. Part of it reads as follows:
"After discussing it with my wife and family, I've decided to run as a Democrat rather than a Republican. I simply cannot stand with a Party where its most extreme element promote hate and division amongst people. Nothing about my platform has, nor will it change. The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camels back. I guess being an American just isn't good enough anymore and I refuse to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn't walk their line."
Click here to read Thigpen's entire statement on switching affiliation.
According to his website, Thigpen served six years in the U.S. Army, with his most recent deployment in Iraq from December 2008 to January of 2010. Thigpen received the Purple Heart in October of 2011 for wounds he received during that deployment. He then returned to finish his education and graduated from UNC Wilmington in May 2013 with a degree in Business Finance.
This will be the first political campaign for Thigpen, who lists a Jacksonville address for his campaign committee "Thigpen for Congress". Background on his website says Thigpen, 35, grew up in Wilmington since the age of 12.
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