Chad Barefoot

Republican North Carolina state Sen. Chad Barefoot is out with a new TV ad inspired by the hit Netflix series “House of Cards.”

In it, a character portrays Daniel Crawford, a lobbyist who is married to Barefoot’s Democratic challenger, Sarah Crawford.

“Would it help me if my wife were in the state Senate?” the character asks. “What do you think?”

The narrator then calls the husband-and-wife relationship a “conflict of interest.”

“As a senator, she’d vote on bills he’s paid to influence,” the narrator continues.

But, what the ad doesn’t mention is Barefoot’s own familial relationship with one of the state’s most well-known and most high-profile lobbyists — his own mother-in-law.

Barefoot is the son-in-law of Tami Fitzgerald, the director of the North Carolina Values Coalition and the co-chair of the state referendum committee responsible for passage of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment in 2012.

Fitzgerald also worked as a lobbyist, according to her LinkedIn profile, “handling between 40-60 active bills each legislative session and developing legislative strategy and strong relationships with legislators that resulted in 80% success rate.”

Fitzgerald was last active as a registered lobbyist in 2013, according to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office.

She is also a founding board member of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, which has consistently worked to influence and propose anti-LGBT legislation.

Barefoot represents portions of eastern Wake and Franklin counties.

Barefoot is listed among 13 state senators named “Champions for the Family” in his mother-in-law’s “pro-family scorecard.” Fitzgerald’s scorecard doesn’t disclose her familial relationship with Barefoot.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

One reply on “In ironic twist, N.C. GOP senator with lobbyist mother-in-law attacks opponent’s lobbyist husband in ‘House of Cards’ themed TV ad”

  1. From Barefoot’s wedding page:

    “Paige was serving as an intern for Rep. Dale Folwell of Winston-Salem and Chad was working for the House Republican Leader, Rep. Paul Stam of Apex. That particular summer Rep. Folwell’s office was known for having cookies, and for once, Chad’s love of sweets came in handy.

    God used more than just cookies to bring Paige and Chad together—He also had a little help from Paige’s mom, who was working at the General Assembly as a lobbyist, and took an instant liking to Chad. Let’s just say that moral issues were not the only things she advocated for in the Republican Leader’s office that summer. “

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