He was the top political adviser to renegade Republican legislator Richard Morgan. He ran Thom Tillis’s US Senate campaign. He’s reportedly the force behind the push for solar energy subsidies in the General Assembly. Now, it appears that GOP uber-consultant Paul Shumaker is behind the soon-to-be-unveiled candidacy of Forsyth County district attorney Jim O’Neill for state attorney general.
In February, a trial balloon went up in Winston-Salem media about a possible O’Neill candidacy. In May, paperwork declaring O’Neill’s intentions to run for attorney general was filed with the state board of elections.
A few items of note in the state board paperwork: (1) O’Neill campaign treasurer Kathy Knight is an employee of Shumaker’s company Capitol Communications. (2) She also shares an address in Raleigh with Roger Knight — an attorney well-known as an associate of Shumaker and closely tied to the NCGOP establishment.
The AG position will be vacant thanks to incumbent Roy Cooper’s decision to run for governor in 2016. State senator Josh Stein (D) is reportedly the Democrat standard-bearer in the race.