Yep. That one made me raise an eyebrow, too. But that is what I am taking from conversations over the last few days with some NCGOP politicos. I got a kick out of a comment from one of my sources:
“Asking me to choose between those two is like asking me to choose whether I want to be shot or stabbed.”
The word HAD been that Hayes would not seek re-election, and the party establishment would step in behind King, the party vice-chairman. But Hayes is making noises about running for another term. The chairman has taken a beating from grassroots activists for THIS and similar acts. King has taken some heat from the grassroots over accusations of primary meddling leveled by former state senator Fern Shubert and a multitude of party activists.
If a Hayes-King confrontation comes to fruition, an opportunity for a Tea Party-supported candidate would certainly arise. One of the politicos I talked with expressed concern about either King or Hayes remaining in power:
“Tea Party folks are angry. They’ve done a lot of good, hard work for the state party. But these guys in Raleigh and DC have treated them like absolute dirt. A lot of these folks have been talking seriously about jumping ship and starting a third party. I’ve worked hard to kill that kind of talk, but Raleigh has not been helping. If we don’t get some new blood into party leadership, I am afraid we could see a serious crack-up within our party.”