Friday, April 12, 2024

Kure Beach doctor trades protest for politics to run against Congressman David Rouzer

Dr. L. Kyle Horton led a protest of the American Health Care Act on the day it passed the House, May 4. The protest was at David Rouzer's office; though the Congressman was not present, Rouzer and Horton will meet again on the campaign trail. (Port City Daily photo / BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Dr. L. Kyle Horton led a protest of the American Health Care Act on the day it passed the House, May 4. The protest was at David Rouzer’s office; though the congressman was not present, Rouzer and Horton will meet again on the campaign trail. (Port City Daily photo/BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)

WILMINGTON — In early May, Dr. L. Kyle Horton gathered a crowd in front of Congressman David Rouzer’s office. Horton was there to protest the American Health Care Act, which had passed the House that day. But it was also, as it turns out, Horton’s unofficial campaign kick-off.

“As a medical professional, I couldn’t ignore how the AHCA would affect the patients I see every day,” Horton said.

Rouzer didn’t appear at the protest that day; Horton delivered her protest to staffer Gilbert DMeza (you can watch the protest here). It seemed to have been the final straw for Horton. The long-time organizer and activist decided to run against Rouzer in the 2018 Congressional election.

Dr. L. Kyle Horton speaking at the North Carolina 7th District Democratic Convention. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY KYLE HORTON FOR CONGRESS)
Dr. L. Kyle Horton speaking at the North Carolina 7th District Democratic Convention. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY KYLE HORTON FOR CONGRESS)

“I’ve thought about this for a long time,” Horton said. “I’ve been an advocate and an educator for a long time. In my work at the VA, I’ve fought for veterans. As a doctor, I can’t ignore the impact of the environment on people’s health. These are the things I’ve fought for but, there came a time and I felt I had to do more.”

Horton, who lives in Kure Beach, said she was particularly upset by Congressman Rouzer’s support for the current administration and its proposed cuts and rollbacks at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“How you can ignore the threat to our environment?” She asked. “I don’t know. Rouzer’s blind, extremist support for Trump – it’s too much. So, this is my moment. I’m ready to flip district seven.”

Horton will have a battle ahead of her. Rouzer defeated Jonathan Barfield, Jr. in  2016 and Wesley Canteen in 2014, both by significant margins.

Horton’s official campaign kick-off will be held Friday, June 2, in Battleship Park (you can find more information at her campaign site and Facebook page).

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