Madison Cawthorn leaves post early despite votes, constituent casework
Earlier this month, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Hendersonville, was elected to serve as the new U.S. congressman for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, but the departing congressman, Madison Cawthorn, still has a few weeks left in his term. It appears, though, according to multiple reports, that Cawthorn has decided not to complete the term he was elected to serve.
Carolina Journal called his Capitol Hill office on Nov. 17 and was presented with a range of options in an automated message. After hitting “1,” the phone rang for an extended period. Eventually, an operator picked up, mumbled something, and redirected the call to the office of Arizona U.S. Senator Kirsten Sinema, a Democrat.
Next, Carolina Journal called his district office in Hendersonville and was met with another automated message. The message said, “Due to our office beginning to close for the term, we are no longer accepting new casework requests.”
Casework is a key part of a congressman’s work. Constituents rely on their congressional representatives for help with Social Security, veterans’ issues, passports, visas, Medicaid, and a long list of other federal services.
Media and other congressional offices have noticed this early departure. Danielle Battaglia, Capitol Hill reporter for McClatchy, tweeted that despite Congress being in session, Cawthorn’s office was stripped of its nameplate and furniture. Dan Keylin, senior advisor in U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis’ office, R-NC, said the same has been true for Cawthorn’s district offices as well.
Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University in Cawthorn’s district, responded, saying, “There are still >750K people in [western N.C.] whose primary connection to the federal government is Madison Cawthorn–a Rep who is apparently gone. Despite the attention over Cawthorn’s antics, the effects of (lack of) representation on people’s lives often gets lost.”
While Cawthorn missed votes this week, he has not been totally invisible, with FOX News reporting that he has purchased a $1.1 million home in Cape Coral, Florida. He also was seen attending the presidential announcement of his new Floridian neighbor in Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump.
Cawthorn released a video soon after Trump’s announcement, declaring his loyalty to the former president and saying he would “follow this man until the day I die.”