Mar 13, 2023 - Politics

North Carolina's most viral politician is exploding on TikTok

Jeff Jackson arrives at the Hyatt Regency on November 13, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Newly elected members of the House arrived in the capital today for orientation. Photo:Nathan Howard/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.) has been documenting his new gig, and TikTokers are eating it up, the Daily Beast reports.

Catch up quick: As a state senator, Jackson, 40, amassed a Twitter following that far exceeds some of the state's most high-profile politicians. (Jackson has 97,200; Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Josh Stein has 51,300.)

Driving the news: Now, as a Congressman, his success on TikTok is largely driven by how he shows up on the platform, which reporter Jake Lahut describes as "not exactly the stuff of viral TikTok gold."

  • Jackson often wears t-shirts or casual button-downs as he speaks plainly about topics that would usually bore most people, like how committee assignments and getting a congressional office work.

That approach has worked: "Jackson is reaching audiences larger than the top-rated primetime cable shows and building a brand in a medium where he has far less competition," Lahut writes.

The intrigue: TikTok was banned from electronic devices managed by the House of Representatives, but Jackson keeps the app on a separate phone solely dedicated to receiving uploads from his Sony camera, per the Daily Beast.

What we're watching: Jackson's district is almost certain to change in 2024 under new Republican-drawn congressional maps. A major change could nudge Jackson to run for state attorney general or another statewide office instead.

  • For now, it seems like his social media presence will only help with that.
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