In case you missed it, National Review has a great writeup on next year’s showdown between Renee Ellmers and Jim Duncan in the 2nd district GOP primary. Duncan’s impressive fundraising gets mentioned, and some political heavy-hitters sound off on the race. Speaking of HEAVY — Carter Wrenn offers up some commentary:
Duncan has made a solid start on that front, raising over $200,000 since late February — half of it from his own pocket. That gives neutral GOP consultants reason to believe he can make the race competitive. “That’s a real number,” says Carter Wrenn, a veteran North Carolina operative. “Even if a hundred of it’s from Duncan, it’s a number that’s a real number, it shows that they’re doing something.”
“At the end of the day, I think that congresswoman Ellmers will be reelected,” says Dee Stewart, who has worked with Ellmers in the past but isn’t involved in this campaign. “She’s worked hard, she’s well known, and the leadership in Congress strongly supports her reelection.”
That may be a double-edged sword, though. “I think her problem is that she ran, or did originally, as a tea-party type and she’s really been . . . more aligned with the Washington establishment than they expected,” says Carter Wrenn. “It’s not necessarily just Tea Party. That abortion thing after 20 weeks, that shook up a lot of people in her district.”[…]
Wrenn — since leaving Senator Jesse Helms and the Congressional Club — -is very much establishment. Second of all, he was Ellmers’s consultant when she knocked off Bob Etheridge in 2010.
[…] Ellmers’s team argues that her critics are the ones who are out of touch with the district. “There were a lot of folks from outside the district and frankly outside the state that were trying to rile up the district, and it really just hasn’t worked,” says Ellmers’s senior advisor Patrick Sebastian. “People know that she’s a conservative and I don’t see any groundswell against her in the district.” […]
Of course, if he does secure outside backing, it might play right into the hands of the Ellmers campaign, which is prepared to portray Duncan — who became involved in North Carolina politics in 2010 after moving to the state from Connecticut in 2008 — as an ineffective carpetbagger. “He just moved here a few years ago from Connecticut,” says Sebastian. “He becomes a county chairman in his county and Republicans went from controlling the county commission to losing the county commission to Democrats — in a Republican year, I might add, in 2014. So, he did damage to his own county; I don’t think people want him to do damage to the Second District and lose another race here to a Democrat.”[…]
Okay. So, we have Patrick Sebastian — the governor’s nephew, who owes his entire professional livelihood to Uncle Pat — criticizing a self-made personal and professional success story like Jim Duncan. He throws that word carpet-bagger out there to try and slander Duncan. Sebastian needs to be careful. The Second District is full of a lot of people who moved here from other parts of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. Hell, even his boss-lady is a “carpet-bagger.” Her own bio describes her as “born and raised” IN MICHIGAN. She moved to North Carolina to work for her husband’s medical practice not long before running for Congress in 2010. Even then, her hubby’s money and Bob Etheridge’s buffoonery barely got her across the finish line and into the winner’s circle.
Sebastian and Ellmers — two people who owe what they have to latching on to someone else’s money and influence.
And Sebastian criticizes Duncan for “outside help”? Has he seen all of the DC PACs on her campaign finance report? Does he know that she is on the national board of the liberal GOP group The Ripon Society?
With Ellmers, it all comes down to someone who enjoys DC and its trappings way too much. We don’t ever see her. When we do, she’s haughty and obnoxious. She campaigns as a conservative, but votes like the establishment and leadership tell her to. She’s aided and abetted the growth of ObamaCare, the expansion of our federal debt, and increased federal spending. THAT is not what we voted for in 2010.