I’ve been around politics for a while. In this game, rumors are as bountiful as pine straw in my neck of the woods. Though, sometimes they do pan out.
Dr. Greg Murphy of Greenville has been quite the rising star. He got appointed to a North Carolina House seat and served there for two terms. With the passing of congressman Walter Jones, Murphy threw his hat into the 17-candidate GOP field to replace the local political legend.
After fighting through a primary, a runoff, and a general election, Murphy was seated in Congress in September of last year. It was a matter of months after he was seated that I began to hear talk from DC, Raleigh, and all across the 3rd congressional district that Murphy wants to run for governor in 2024.
If true, that would create an interesting scenario for the state’s Republican voters — who are counting on their fellow Republican Dan Forest defeating Roy Cooper in 2020 and running for reelection as governor in 2024.
What really got my spidey-sense tingling was a recent conversation I had with a friend and fellow politico who lives clear on the other side of the state from Murphy’s 3rd district. This friend is a high-dollar GOP donor who is also known to organize high-dollar fundraisers for candidates. We hadn’t spoken in a while, and were busy catching up. Then, out of the blue, he asks me what I think about Greg Murphy.
That threw me for a loop, since this guy is so far removed geographically from Murphy’s 3rd district. I offered up my insight. My friend then told me of a conversation he had earlier this year with a well-known GOP campaign consultant. (My source later IDed the consultant as Andy Yates, who you may remember from the 2018 Mark Harris congressional campaign.). This guy told me that — according to Yates — congressman Murphy is seriously considering a 2024 run for governor.
My friend asked Yates how that would work since, hopefully, Dan Forest would be running for reelection as governor in 2024. According to my source, this was Yates’s response:
“He said ‘It’s too late for Dan’. He said ‘He’s wasted a lot of time and it’s too late to knock Cooper off. We need to go ahead and cut our losses and concentrate on what we can win in 2020. The smart thing to do is prepare somebody for 2024 when the seat will be open.'”
Murphy has been in DC since September 2019. It’s now July 2020.