Gay Christian Minister, Mother Of 3 Announces 2022 Bid To Unseat Madison Cawthorn

A Buncombe County commissioner who gained national prominence in the campaign to fully legalize same-sex marriage announced on Wednesday that she will seek the congressional seat held by far-right Republican Madison Cawthorn.

The Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of Asheville announced her run for the 11th District seat in a campaign video released with the announcement.

“Some people will say a gay woman who’s a Christian minister just can’t get elected in the South. Not to mention, she’s a Democrat. When I say an insurrectionist who flirts with Nazis, fires up a violent crowd to attack our democracy, well he shouldn’t get reelected anywhere,” she tweeted.

Beach-Ferrara is the first to announce for the 2022 race.

The challenge to unseat Cawthorn comes just days after Buzzfeed News published a damning report in which more than 30 of his former friends, classmates, and acquaintances accused him of sexual harassment, misconduct, and other inappropriate behavior.

Then Cawthorn’s onetime best friend told the Washington Post that the congressman lied about certain details regarding the car accident that left him wheelchair-bound. While Cawthorn had told his audience in a 2017 speech that Bradley Ledford “left me in a car to die in a fiery tomb,” Ledford—speaking publicly about the crash for the first time—told the newspaper that he pulled Cawthorn from the wreckage, a statement that appears to be corroborated by the two men’s depositions in the case.

“It hurt very badly that he would say something as false as that. That is not at all what happened,” Ledford said. “I pulled him out of the car the second that I was able to get out of the car.”

Speaking to the Citizen-Times this week, Beach-Ferrara said, “My faith teaches me that leadership starts with empathy, compassion, and listening and then getting to work to help people. That’s the kind of leadership I want to offer instead of the division and mean-spiritedness we’re getting now.”