Jason Thigpen is ripping a page from former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s political playbook in his race against Walter Jones in North Carolina’s Third Congressional District.
In 2010, Crist was anointed by the GOP establishment as the next US senator from Florida. Unfortunately — for Crist — the Tea Party had something to say about it. As his polls started to plummet, Crist took his marbles and went home. He became an independent, and ran as a third party candidate for the Senate. Crist spent much of the campaign bashing the GOP and its positions — a party and platform he had campaigned with many times in the past.
Fast forward to 2013. Army veteran Jason Thigpen launched a primary challenge — purportedly from the right — to congressman Walter Jones (R). Check out some of his rhetoric:
[…] Jason acknowledges a tough road ahead. “I am challenging an incumbent who has spent nearly twenty years in Congress, switching parties and stances based on what is popular at the time,” Jason says. But Jason says the campaign is getting a lot of interest and support from both Republican party leaders and grassroots activists. Thigpen even says there is evidence of strong support from independent voters who make up a third of the registered voters and are eligible to vote in North Carolina’s semi-closed primary.
“Walter Jones has been in Congress long enough to be on both sides of nearly every issue.” says Jason. “The district doesn’t know where he stands anymore, or if he still represents their views and values.” he adds. […]
With all that behind him Jason says he is 110% focused on the campaign and winning the Republican nomination. […]
This week, word came out that Thigpen, thanks to an “extremist movement”, has jumped from the GOP to the Democrats.
*I guess changing parties isn’t so bad anymore.*
The linked release was published in May 2013. So, in FIVE MONTHS, Thigpen has gone from 110 percent committed to winning the Republican nomination to ZERO percent.
I am willing to bet that Thigpen’s decision had less to do with “extremism” and more to do with the entry of well-financed, well-organized DC establishment candidate Taylor Griffin into the GOP primary for the Third District. It’s like they say — Three is a Crowd.