Boy, I am GLAD I am not in the 9th district and having to make a choice in THAT U.S. House primary. We have Robert (“Thoughtul Answer”) Pittenger — he of the FBI and IRS probes ; pastor Mark Harris of Charlotte, and former Union County commissioner Todd Johnson.
We heard stories of Pittenger using his position in the state Senate to benefit his private business. He’s been a bit of a weasel during his time in the House, sabotaging efforts to kill ObamaCare and amnesty for illegals. He needed to have been gone YESTERDAY. But, in the land of Thom Thilli$$$ and Edwin Peacock, he’s just fine with a lot of the natives.
We know Mark Harris from his 2014 US Senate run. He was bad on amnesty. He was using Robin Hayes’s campaign consultant and taking guidance from Hayes himself. Many suspected he jumped in the race to split the conservative vote and help fellow Charlottean Thilli$$$$ take the primary. Harris took some heat during the 2014 campaign for politicking in churches and taking money from them.
In an interview with us that year, Harris vehemently denied being an establishment token. But, at the 2015 GOP convention, he got photographed wearing buttons of all-GOPe candidates. *Some rebel. Some Tea Partier.* After assailing Thilli$$$’s character in the primary, he was out there on the campaign trail praising him as a great choice.
Other than amnesty, Harris sounds pretty good on the issues. But he has THE STINK — the smell of sulfur — of Robin Hayes all over him. Yes, Robin of the Ripon Society. Yes, Dallas Woodhouse’s wingman. Yes, the man back in the saddle of the NCGOP after helping to engineer a coup against the first elected black chairman.
That leaves us with former Union County commissioner Todd Johnson. He’s a relatively young guy, 37, from a prominent political family in the county. He sounds good on the issues all the way around, as far as we can tell. But we were concerned early on when we heard his campaign was looking to hook up with his old friend Dee Stewart. (Yes, THAT Dee Stewart.) After scouring Johnson’s FEC reports, we can find no evidence of a tie between his campaign and The Stewart Group. That doesn’t mean Dee is not around. (Stewart’s running buddy, Paul Shumaker, is Pittenger’s guru.)
So, there is a possibility of a Shumaker v. Stewart v. Hayes proxy fight. What a choice.
The least objectionable choice here appears to be Johnson. It’s a shame you have to characterize things that way. But we’re recommending a vote for Todd Johnson in the 9th district this Tuesday.