Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Republican 'bench' in North Carolina

Thinking about the 2012 race for Governor in North Carolina and the 2014 race for Senate, it's really hard at this point to see who the Republicans are going to put up in those races.

Starting with the Senate race, think about the North Carolina GOP delegation in Congress. For one thing it's dwindling- they're down to five. And for the most part they're pretty darn old. The only one you can really see having any sort of political future is Patrick McHenry, but it's debatable how well he would hold up to the scrutiny of a statewide campaign. I think they're pretty much out.

In the Governor's race Pat McCrory would seem like the Republicans' best bet again. Of course Dino Rossi ran again as the Republican nominee for Governor of Washington this year after losing narrowly in 2004 and he got beat much worse the second time than he did the first time.

Another question: would the Republican field clear for McCrory if he wanted to give it another shot? It's worth remembering that he didn't get to 50% in the primary, and if a single conservative challenged him and actually ran a normal media driven campaign it seems like there's some chance McCrory wouldn't even make it to the general.

Republicans had a chance with open seats for Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer this year to get some folks into a good launching point for a Gubernatorial campaign but they fell short and I don't think a Labor or Agriculture Commissioner in the state has ascended to higher office any time recently or maybe ever.

So it doesn't look good for the GOP moving forward- but at the same time no one probably would have imagined two or three years ago that Kay Hagan would be headed to the US Senate. So there's certainly a precedent for successfully moving from relative political obscurity to the limelight.

Who do you think will be the emerging statewide stars for the Republicans over the next few election cycles?


Anonymous said...

Sorry - my comment was supposed to be on this - not sure how it ended up on the other one!

Boy, that's tough. It makes sense to look at the State Senate (roughly equivalent to a US Senator running for President). The problem, I'm not sure if any have the profile of Kay Hagan. After all, Jim Hunt was trying to get her to run against Liddy the first time. She may have been relatively obscure to the general public, but the state party leadership had an eye on her for a long time.

I did a little digging. Interestingly, the last person to go directly from statewide elected political office to U. S. Senator was Scott back in 1954! Since then we've had no fewer than 6 U.S. Senators who had never held elected office of any kind prior to being elected to the Senate! They are Faircloth, Dole, Helms, Edwards, East, and Jordan.

The Media Grab said...

four and six years out is a lifetime in politics. No one knew edwards in 1994, or obama in 2003... Burr was obscure too.

Anonymous said...

It would have to be someone from the State Senate, just like Hagan. That doesn't work quite as well for Governor though.

And let's be fair to Rossi, it's not hard to get beat "much worse" than before when he lost the first one by 129 votes.

Anonymous said...

B.J. Lawson was really up against it going against someone like Price, but he ran a good campaign and really excited a lot of people. I wish he'd give another run for an office that he could actually attain.

For Governor or Senate, my bet is that Patrick McHenry makes a run for Hagan's seat in 2014.

McCrory may end up taking Myrick's Congressional seat in 2010, but could also go back to the private sector and make some money for a few years before matching up with Perdue again.

Much like anyone else, I have a hard time identifying someone in the State Senate with growth potential right now.

Anonymous said...

McCrory is by far still the best hope for the Republicans. He lost in a "Perfect Storm" that happened this year. He has the "Right Stuff" for sure and is the Republican hope for the future.

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