Jim Long was one of the classiest politicians I have ever met, and incredibly popular with the voters of North Carolina.
Right before I started at PPP in the fall of 2007 Grier Martin and Kay Hagan passed on challenging Elizabeth Dole. I was looking over past election returns and saw that in both 2000 and 2004 Long had led the Democratic ticket and thought, what the heck, let's test Long against Dole.
Hagan ended up changing her mind and we didn't end up doing it, but given what a strong fighter he had always been for average North Carolinians I have no doubt he would have been a formidable candidate.
He left an outstanding successor in Wayne Goodwin, and leaves a strong legacy to North Carolina.