*It’s GREAT when the Other Side does all the heavy lifting for you.*. NC House GOP caucus’s Stephen Wiley’s dirty tricks during the GOP primary for House District 73 in Cabarrus County may have helped Democrats steal a GOP-held seat and stave off a super-majority in the House.
You may remember Wiley. We caught him getting $PAID$ by the NCGOP for “political consulting” WHILE working as a staffer for the NCGOP and NC House Caucus.
Why, you ask, is a state GOP operative like Wiley meddling in a GOP primary?
Wiley, like so many other Raleigh types, is very impressed with the NC Young Republicans’ Catherine Whiteford. Wiley &co. tried to get her elected from Raleigh. THAT didn’t work. When word came out that Larry Pittman was retiring from the House, they parachuted young Catherine down to Cabarrus County. (John Bradford, a Tillis crony and on-again-off-again legislator, gave her a “job” at his business’s Concord office.). A lot of money and other logistical assistance was rushed southward to aid young Catherine in her quixotic quest.
The Raleigh crowd apparently didn’t see Brian Echevarria coming. Echevarria, a polished, successful, eloquent businessman came on strong. Being black and Hispanic, Echevarria broke the template by coming out against critical race theory. He was pro-life and pro-marriage, a proud Christian and fiscally conservative. Not a lot different, ideologically, from the outgoing Pittman.
Whiteford, by contrast, had marched with BLM and had advocated for the GOP to adopt closer ties with gays and progressives.
Raleigh tried to help Catherine by circulating some gossip about Echevarria’s alleged “lengthy criminal record.” Stephen Wiley and his big mouth have been identified by several witnesses as the main leaker. The leak was determined to be complete bullshit, and disappeared into obscurity.
Echevarria nevertheless won bigly over Whiteford.
Right before the November vote, Echevarria and Democrat Diamond Staton-Williams were locked in a close race. It was very winnable for Echevarria. Then, the Democrats dropped a nuke on the race: an attack ad against Echevarria featuring Roy Cooper regurgitating the same crap that Wiley leaked during the primary. The Dems even fabricated a “mug shot” of Echevarria to spruce up the political mud.
Echevarria ran low on money at the end of the campaign, while the Raleigh Democrats apparently had oodles to spend on airing this bullshit ad ad nauseum. Echevarria had no real way to effectively respond to the mud, and he came up roughly 425 votes short on Election Day.
Echevarria was poised to win before the Dem ad aired. Thanks to the ad’s success in helping Staton-Williams, a BLM supporter and devout race-monger, House GOPers appear to be one vote short of a super-majority. Who knows if the Dems would have found this crap if Wiley had not introduced it during the primary race?
Democrats and their friends at the N&O are heaping praise on ol’ Diamond. She (and Wiley) saved Roy’s veto.
Later next year when tears are being shed over ol’ Roy upholding vetoes, take time to remember Stephen Wiley’s role in making it all so.
I don’t want to hear ANY of those Raleigh weasels complaining about Trump or conservatives “costing” the GOP on Election Day. Garbage like what was perpetrated with Whiteford and Echevarria was to blame. Flooding funds into lost causes like Wake and Mecklenburg counties didn’t help either. Praising medicaid expansion and killing parental rights legislation sure didn’t help.
I don’t believe Trump or conservatives had ANYTHING to do with the aforementioned travesties. Will Stephen Wiley keep his job, after screwing up HD73 so badly? To quote Sarah Palin: “You betcha!”