Skip to comments.Wooed anew, Etheridge might take on Burr
Posted on 08/21/2009 12:02:28 AM PDT by MitchellC
Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge said Wednesday he is giving some thought to running against Republican Sen. Richard Burr next year.
Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat, said he has been courted by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as a potential candidate.
"I'm evaluating it," Etheridge said during a meeting Wednesday with reporters and editors at The News & Observer.
Etheridge said he met recently with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and had discussions with family members and a few key supporters. Etheridge said he hoped to make a decision by September.
The backing of the DSCC is important because Senate races have become nationalized. The DSCC spent at least $10 million on behalf of Democrat Kay Hagan last year, playing a pivotal role in her defeat of Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole.
Etheridge said his decision was particularly difficult because he is the first Tar Heel in 56 years to serve on the influential House Ways and Means Committee.
The DSCC had initially tried to recruit state Attorney General Roy Cooper into the race, but he announced this spring that he would not run.
Etheridge said the party made a run at him earlier this year and he said no. But they have come back at him again in recent weeks, and this time he is listening.
The party has been attracted to Etheridge because he is regarded as a moderate, a proven vote-getter and an accomplished fundraiser.
One Democrat, Durham attorney Kenneth Lewis, has announced his candidacy for the Senate seat. At least four others are considering it: former state Sen. Cal Cunningham of Lexington, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker.
Hayes won't run again
A day after saying his plans were "undetermined," former U.S. Rep. Republican Robin Hayes said Wednesday he won't run for the congressional seat he lost last November.
"I'm going to do everything I can to help recruit and finance and give what experience and assistance I can to make sure that that person -- and it's not going to be me -- is properly prepared," Hayes told News 14 in Charlotte.
Hayes' announcement came a day after a top GOP official suggested that Hayes would not challenge Democrat Larry Kissell, who beat him in 2008.
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican and top recruiter for the National Republican Congressional Committee, is in North Carolina checking out potential GOP candidates for several House seats held by Democrats, including the 8th District seat.
"I don't believe Robin's going to run again," McCarthy said Tuesday. "Robin's been very helpful in helping us find somebody."
Hayes held the seat for five terms. In 2008, the wealthy textile heir spent $3.8 million on the race to Kissell's $1.5 million.
Outgoing Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, sometimes mentioned as a possible candidate for the seat, declined to fuel the speculation.
"Right now my total focus is on completing my term," he said today.
'Affordable energy' rally
It's not only health care that is prompting rallies and counter rallies across North Carolina during the August congressional recess.
Energy Citizens, a coalition of industry groups, will hold a rally today at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
The event is called "Rally for Jobs and Affordable Energy" and is one of a series of rallies being held in 19 states across the country.
The industry-sponsored rally centers on legislation in Congress designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, often called "cap and trade."
Meanwhile, a counter-rally will be held across the street by a coalition of groups that wants Hagan to support legislation backed by the Obama administration, which says it will create clean energy jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
As much as the DSCC wants him I bet the DCCC hopes he stays put.
Yup, saw that today. Best thing is to have as many Dems run to get them bloodied up in the primary. I will be surprised if Etheridge runs, giving up 14 years of seniority, and because his open seat would go Republican. He only won it in ‘96 because freshman David Funderburk was involved in that stupid auto “mishap.” If we could get Mike McIntyre to jump in, we’d get his seat, too (nevermind Shuler).
Etheridge will lose. It is going to be fun to watch “blue” states in the south purge the faux conservative Blue Dogs.
Considering the creative shape and location of North Carolina's 2nd District, I can see a tough fight for any Republican who challenges Etheridge. I'm sure his party could tweak it even more if needed, since they are still in power here.
If he runs for the Senate maybe we can elect a good person in his district. I’m tired of hearing the spineless Eheridge mumble.
Now, how do we get rid of Price and Miller?
Back in 2002, Michale Barone said Robin Hayes, Mike McIntyre, and Bob Ehteridge are entrenched incumbents who shouldn’t worry too much about re-election. Barone did say that a poor political climate like Watergate or 1994 could oust these incumbents. Hayes is gone. Lets hope McIntyre & Ehteridge get the same treatment.
Etheridge would be a formidible foe, though Burr would still be a slight favorite. On the bright side, it would give the GOP a great pick-up opportunity for Ethridge’s vacant district.
I’m sure Etheridge would bring the campaign dough, and his experience winning a state-wide office (Superintendent of Public Instruction, 20 years ago), but he’s been so liberal lately that I have to think it would hurt him in a year where voters come out strong against Obama’s policies. Hagan was was pretty liberal in the state Senate but her blank slate on national issues helped her.
Are there any Republican state legislators in the Congerssional district that Etheridge represents?
The folks at PPP are getting giddy about the possibility of Etheridge entering the race. With his campaign warchest from his House campaigns, Etheridge could clear the primary field.
On a local level, has the Tarheel climate improved for the NC GOP? PPP fears that the GOP could take the NC House or even the NC Senate next year.
I wasn’t able to find any state Senators in that district.
Just comparing the maps, it appears that the 12th (David Rouzer) and 22nd (Harris Blake) run through it. However, according to SBOE information, Blake appears to live in the 6th district (Republican Howard Coble).
Doubtless the rats would run a strong candidate for the house seat. Probably a state legislator. Obama did carry it. But I think in a good year the open seat would go our way if we get a good candidate.