Skip to comments.Etheridge passes [another Dem decides against challenging Sen. Burr]
Posted on 11/13/2009 2:03:28 PM PST by MitchellC
Congressman Bob Etheridge said Friday that he would not challenge Republican Sen. Richard Burr next year, despite a concerted effort by the national Democratic Party to coax him into the race.
The decision is another setback for the Democrats, who earlier this year failed to entice Attorney General Roy Cooper into the race, Rob Christensen reports. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has turned its attention to former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, an Iraq War veteran from Lexington, who had spent several months exploring a Senate bid, before announcing Monday that he would not be a candidate.
Etheridge, a veteran Congressman, former superintendent of public instruction, former legislator and former Harnett County commissioner, is one of the Tar Heel Democratic Party's proven commodities. Etheridge said he looked at the Senate race strongly this time but in the end, "I just decided not to do it."
UPDATE: National Republican senatorial campaign spokesman Colin Reed said Etheridge's decision leaves a big hole in the Democrats' recruiting class and shows that Democrats "on the ground in North Carolina have a much different view of this race than party officials in Washington."
"I think it is a winnable seat," Etheridge said. "I really do believe that. I think Richard burr has not voted (the right way on) some of the issues on job creation and health care and you go right on down the list."
But Etheridge noted that he was the first North Carolinian to serve on the influential House Ways and Means Committee in more than 50 years and felt as though he had "unfinished business in the House."
He said he would not endorse anyone in the Democratic Senate primary which will be held next May. The announced candidates are Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Chapel Hill attorney Kenneth Lewis. Also looking at the race are Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy and former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker.
Burr is going to win simply because its going to be a big Republican year. And the top Dems here know it.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus
Where is Harvey Gnatt the biggest loser in NC? Burr’s seat is secure.
I wouldn’t call a fraction of a percent ‘winning handily.’
Ping, another supposedly ‘top tier’ Democrat decides against. I’m disappointed, I was hoping he’d give the seat up.
Yeah, too bad, his seat would be ripe for the taking if it opened up. We can still pick it up (Etheridge, unlike McIntyre, is way too liberal for his district).
I think so too. Several state legislative districts that are held by Republicans run through the 2nd District. I wish one of them would throw their hats into the ring and beat Etheridge over the head with his votes. At the very least, it would be one more seat that the Dems will have to pour real money into, spreading them thin elsewhere.
Yeah unfortunately a bad climate for the rats hurts us in terms of incumbent rats to scared to try to move up. I figure Eth and McIn will be there till they retire.
But you never know.
Dear Reader won it, but I don't know about "handily". His victory was by only 14,177 votes.
Nonetheless, NC has a nasty history of electing Rat governors and senators. In 2008, Hagan beat Dole by over 360,000 votes, so it can be done - but I doubt it will happen. 2010 should be a strong GOP year in NC.