One of the themes emerging through three days of filing across the state is that we can expect a lot of pretty spirited GOP Congressional primaries where, to put it bluntly, some of the candidates will provide amusement by trying to out crazy each other.
-In the 4th District (David Price) we already have Frank Roche, George Hutchins, and 2008 nominee BJ Lawson filed. Frequent candidate Greg Dority, who lives nowhere near the district, has also said he intends to run. Lawson was a 'Tea Party' candidate in 2008 before the label became widely used and had a surprisingly well funded campaign given what little hope of a victory there was for him. He should be seen as the favorite in the primary.
-In the 11th District (Heath Shuler) Jake Howard and Ed Krause have already put their names in on the Republican side and they're expected to be joined, at the least, by Hendersonville Mayor Greg Newman and businessman Jeff Miller. In 2008 a crowded Republican primary generated the nuttiest candidate possible in Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower and the up shot of that was an easy Shuler victory in the fall.
-In the 8th District (Larry Kissell) Tim D'Annunzio, who has already generated the wrong kind of national media attention by letting himself get hot and bothered by anonymous blog commenters, is in the race and should be joined by at least four other candidates.
There are expected to be competitive GOP contests in several other districts as well but we'll talk about those more as the filings come in. One person, interestingly, who doesn't seem to be facing a well funded primary challenger is Walter Jones. He came out ahead after a spirited contest two years ago against an opponent who attacked him for not sufficiently toeing the party line, and given this 'Tea Party' climate I'm surprised not to see him facing something similar this time around.