Charles Graham, 71, a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives from the 47th district., is the Democratic nominee for a U.S. House seat in North Carolina.
(Image courtesy of Charles Graham for Congress campiagn political ad)
A Lumbee tribesman, Graham is the only Native American serving in the General Assembly. And should he win in November, he’ll be the Tarheel State’s first Native American (indigenous) member of the U.S. Congress.
A lifelong Robeson County resident, Graham will face Republican incumbent David Rouzer for the right to represent District 7. Redrawn this year by the North Carolina Supreme Court, the district includes all of Pender, New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, Bladen, and Robeson counties and most of Cumberland County. And it leans 54% Republican.
A self-described moderate, Graham is hoping to attract independents in an area that supported former President Barack Obama in 2012 and 2016 but was subsequently carried by Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
In late 2021, Graham garnered added attention when his political campaign commercial, detailing the Battle of Hayes Pond, went viral. In that incident, an armed confrontation, members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were met by brave county citizens, comprised mostly of Lumbee Indians, at a Klan rally near Maxton, North Carolina, on the night of January 18, 1958.
When the Klan found themselves surrounded, the rally was soundly squashed.
Afterward, the arrested Klansman were indicted and convicted of inciting a riot (And yes, inciting a riot is illegal). The event, although relatively forgotten today, received local and national media buzz at the time as many across the country praised the Lumbees for their actions.
Graham’s political ad reflects his desire ‘to put things right.’ Acknowledging the country’s great ideological divide and rising racial tensions, his commercial recounting Hayes Pond is a reminder of what happens when good people, regardless of their race or political or sexual affiliation, stand up to hate.
Video: The Battle of Hayes Pond
Courtesy: Charles Graham for Congress
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