#nc-02: A SEVEN-WAY GOP primary?

Well, the Second District GOP primary race for 2016 is getting7_number to be quite a crowded affair.  We’ve all known incumbent Renee Ellmers was running for reelection.  We’ve known about challengers Jim Duncan, Kay Daly and Frank Roche.

Second District GOP heavy-hitters are telling me to expect at least three more to jump into the fray:  Former NCDOT secretary Tony Tata,  Hoke County businessman Tim D’Annunzio, and retired Army Special Forces officer Harold King of Fayetteville. 

We’re also told that the Ellmers camp has made it clear to district GOP officials that their girl WILL NOT be participating in any forums or debates or town hall events during the seagrams7-175-lprimary that include any of the other primary candidates.

Ellmers, who first ran in 2010, has yet to avoid a primary.  In two of the last three primary elections, she drew multiple primary opponents.  The exception was 2014 where Roche was her only GOP challenger.  

There’s a lot of material out there to use against Ellmers.  But the field of primary opponents has been relatively quiet — keeping their powder dry.  THAT can end up being a problem in this abbreviated primary cimages-4ampaign.  Three of the seven names in the field — Ellmers, Duncan, and D’Annunzio — have raised competitive amounts of cash or have the ability to put a big bank together.  

Ellmers, D’Annunzio and Roche have the name ID.  D’Annunzio for his 2010 and 2012 campaigns for US House seats, and his 2014 bid for US Senate as a Libertarian, and Roche for his prior campaigns for Congress in 2010, state treasurer in 2012, and Congress in 2014.

sevenTata is definitely a head-scratcher.  He got some bad publicity from his departure at DOT.  The idea of him running for Congress was floated at that time, but was soon shot down.  Apparently, from what sources in the know tell me, it’s back on.

Jim Duncan has been ‘The Great White Hope’ for so many movement conservatives and Tea Party types frustrated with Ellmers’s dismal voting record and utter betrayal.  But his campaign has been surprisingly low-key, despite already raising significant cash.  His name ID is suffering.  Recent surveys put it at about 20 percent district-wide.

sevenFundraising is great.  It’s a big help.  But name ID is HUGE.  An awful lot of the electorate — the low information crowd, for the most part — heads to the polls and marks the names they remember.  And a lot of them remember Ellmers.  They may not know WHY.  But they do.  (The kids’ glue, maybe?) 

Running for office is a lot like introducing a new product into a market.  You HAVE to give the consumers a reason to switch from what they know to try your yet-to-be-known, brand-new product.  You have to make the voters understand WHY they need to trade in their Ellmers model for a brand new Duncan, Roche, Daly, D’Annunzio, Tata, or King.  With filing starting the first week of December, and the polls opening the first week of March, there is not a lot of time left to accomplish that goal. 


14 thoughts on “#nc-02: A SEVEN-WAY GOP primary?

  1. I am sick of races like this were too many people in the race waters down the conservitive message if a race becomes more then 3 people running the rules need to be changed and the state executive committee should make a endorsement in the race

    1. So the state EC should endorse in this primary, but not in others? Naw, they should just stay out of it…

      1. Re read what I said – in races with more than 3 people in a primary that would be all races with 4 or more people and the EC could endore more then one person I would not have a problem with that

      2. In many states, the party organization DOES endorse routinely in primaries, and in some, that endorsement is actually printed on the ballot. Since so many grassroots GOP voters are sick of the party establishment, I wonder if it would be a plus or a minus in a primary to have a formal party endorsement. Even where the grassroots controls the party apparatus, the average GOP voter does not know that.

        1. Maybe in a field greater than 3 a party body county, district, state could if it wanted to make a endorsement in the race they choose at least 2 people or more in the race to endorse thus giving some guidance but leaving the choice to the people

  2. One wonders if Ellmers pulled some strings in the backroom to get some of these people into the race to divide the opposition. However, it may not work out so well for her, if all of them are training their fire on Ellmers and her miserable record.

    One of them would be smart, however, to hang back, and be prepared to challenge Ellmers as an independent if this tactic of divide and conquer gets her through the primary.

    As to not showing up at events with others there, the party should tell her that she is persona non grata at party events if Ellmers refuses to appear with other candidates. It was outrageous that the state GOP had Tricky Dick Burr as keynote speaker at the Hall of Fame but gave not official recognition to his primary challengers. That stinks, and the IS the party taking sides in the primary in violation of the Plan of Organization. Woodhouse should be handed his walking papers for that heavy handed ploy to favor his candidate.

    Candidates should also be told that unless they agree to take questions, they will not be allowed to speak. What Tillis did last primary to duck questions should simply not be allowed.

  3. Why is Roche in the race? He can’t possibly win. Who is this Kay person? She seems whacky, not real. Tata wouldn’t dare run. D’Annunczio, like Roche, has run before and the people have spoken. King, who???? Seems to me the race is between Duncan and Ellmers.

      1. Now why would we expect an establishment mouthpiece like you to be straight with conservatives on anyway?

  4. Wow. So Ellmers will only agree to be in a debate by herself? She’d never get away with that if she had to face caucus voters. District leaders should be dictating to her, not the other way around.

  5. Question: “How can you tell when a politician running for office is lying?”
    Answer: “Every God Damned time they open their mouth!”
    Ba-da Bing, Ba-da Boom!

    Question: “When they get to Washington, which slimy politician breaks their campaign promises like Slick Willy Clinton (repeatedly) broke his wedding vows”?
    Answer: “Every God Damned one of them!”
    Ba-da Bing, Ba-do Boom!

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