#NCSEN: Harris keeping pace with Tillis in recruiting GOP establishment types

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Charlotte pastor Mark Harris is expected to announce his entry into the GOP primary for US Senate on October 2.  Robin Hayes is chairing his campaign, while Tom Perdue is serving as campaign consultant.  Now comes word that a player at NCGOP HQ during Hayes’ reign as NCGOP chairman is joining the Harris campaign:

Rev. Mark Harris won’t officially enter North Carolina’s U.S, Senate race until next week. But he’s already snared another former official of the state Republican Party to run his campaign.

Harris announced that Mike Rusher will manage his campaign. Rusher, former chief of staff for the state GOP, joins former state party chairman Robin Hayes, who will co-chair the Harris campaign.

Harris is pastor of Charlotte’s First Baptist Church and president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He plans a fly-around announcement tour on Oct. 2, starting in Wilmington and ending in Charlotte.

This whole thing inspires a number of questions that a journalist — with at least one ounce of integrity — ought to be asking Harris or digging into:

1.  Who is paying Perdue’s fee?  Ol’ Tom does not come cheap.  Harris is not officially a candidate.  I’d be surprised if Perdue’s fee falls within the personal  budget of a Baptist preacher.

2. Why is Robin Hayes splitting with Thom Tillis?  The pair were so close while Hayes was party chairman and Tillis was speaker.  Hayes even worked hard to promote Tillis at this year’s state party convention. What’s changed?

3. How is this whole political campaigning thing going to work while Harris is presiding over a non-profit church organization?  Will he step down?  Will this cause problems with taxing authorities?  I’m sure there are Democrats within the Southern Baptist Convention. Will this campaign cause internal strife within the church?

4.  Announcement fly-around?  WHO is paying for / providing the plane?

Read more here: http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/former_top_gop_operative_to_manage_mark_harriss_senate_campaign#storylink=cpy

7 thoughts on “#NCSEN: Harris keeping pace with Tillis in recruiting GOP establishment types

  1. Lots of good questions here…none of which I expect any honest answers from those involved.

    I’m supporting Greg Brannon. Many of us in eastern NC are sick of the usual run of politicians who run as conservatives and then sell us out at the first opportunity. Some of watch what people do and ignore their rhetoric.

  2. I don’t know many people, in fact probably NONE, who would vote for a Baptist preacher for much of anything …

    Brannon is THE candidate that Harris and Hayes need to throw THEIR support behind!

    The establishment republicannots need to realize the depth of their problems and get out of the way.

  3. These are great questions that need to be answered, but I know they will not be. Greg Brannon is the ONLY candidate with some integrity. We are sick of having the next-in-line RINO jammed down our throats or having to vote for the lesser of two evils. Burr is a waste! He didn’t endorse Tillis by fundraising for him? Seriously? It brings to mind the question: “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” They must believe we are stupid. They’ll find out we are not!

  4. Who is paying Perdue’s fee?
    >Good question. He should be paid from the campaign and the campaign’s funding will be public record once the first reports are due. So, it’s not something that can be easily hidden. And if it is hidden, then he should be called on it.

    Why is Robin Hayes splitting with Thom Tillis?
    >Good question. I thought the theory was that Hayes was not splitting with Tillis and therefore Harris’ campaign was designed to help Tillis?

    How is this whole political campaigning thing going to work while Harris is presiding over a non-profit church organization?
    >It will work just like it has worked for every other candidate in a similar position.

    Will he step down?
    >Maybe. Maybe not. He certainly does not have to.

    Will this cause problems with taxing authorities?
    >No, it should not, but that will not stop folks of the Lois Lerner variety of going after him/them.

    I’m sure there are Democrats within the Southern Baptist Convention. Will this campaign cause internal strife within the church?
    >No, it most likely will not. His church might lose some followers, but gain others.

    Announcement fly-around? WHO is paying for / providing the plane?
    >Good question.

  5. This also splits the Charlotte vote.

    Any thinking legislator will be hoping that anybody but Tillis is the nominee. If Tillis were the nominee, various Democrat and liberal groups will be filling the airways with gross distortions of the GOP legislature’s record. They are already hard at those distortions, but if it is wall to wall on TV, then the distortions will do even more damage to the rest of the ticket, especially at the legislative level. The rest of the GOP ticket cannot afford to have Tillis as the GOP nominee. I hope they figure that one out.

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