The May runoffs: Knott v. Daughtry for Congress

The political machine has done a top-drawer job in redrawing congressional district lines.  Now, average voters are even more confused about who their member of Congress is.

We’re in the Raleigh media market.  So, as a result, Spectrum gives us all the Raleigh TV stations and the political advertising that comes with them. I’ve had community members come up to me and ask my opinion on who they should vote for: Daughtry or Knott.

“Neither!,” I tell them. “You aren’t in their district.”

The runoff for the US House 13th district GOP nomination is a clash between political dynasties. Kelly Daughtry is the daughter of longtime legislator and party leader Leo Daughtry.  The Daughtrys have been quite a political force around Johnston County for decades.

For the longest time, I was a Leo Daughtry fan. He never showed much evidence of being ideological or principled or purpose-driven.   I liked the fact that he so irritated the late state House member Richard Morgan of Moore County.  Many longtime politics watchers may remember Morgan for orchestrating a power-sharing deal with Democrats in a year voters had given Republicans a slim majority in the House.

Unfortunately, Leo Daughtry lost me with some of his lawyer antics.  I’ll never forget a story about a Johnston County politico who got caught allegedly building herself a palatial home on government-owned land at taxpayer expense.  Ol’ Leo ran to her side as fast as he possibly could.   I know the whole spiel about how ‘everyone deserves a quality defense,” but COME ON.

Brad Knott has ties to a number of political heavyweight families around Wake County.  His own family, The Knotts,  have been major players in the Wake GOP for what seems like forever.  (You may remember Joe Knott, who ran for attorney general in 2004 against Democrat then-incumbent Roy Cooper. )

The Knotts also have family ties to Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby.

Knott is related by marriage to Raleigh’s Kane family — as in Kane Realty, a major player in the area’s commercial real estate and development market.  John Kane is well-known and well-established as a major donor to the North Carolina Republican Party.

The vote on May 14th will pretty much decide WHO represents this district in Congress for the next two years.  Both campaigns have really been pounding away at each other.

Knott has been hit hard over reports that he voted in several elections with a registration featuring his parents’ address — where he DID not reside.

The Daughtry campaign is also flooding the Wheel of Fortune – Jeopardy hour on Raleigh TV with ads attacking Knott as a “Never Trumper” who worked for “the Biden Justice Department.” 

Knott was a career prosecutor at the DOJ.  Government agencies at the state and federal level have career, civil servant employees that are supplemented with political appointees.  Political appointees are typically in-line with the views of who appointed them.  Career employees may or may not agree with the politics of the current governor or president.  Knott was a worker-bee, and not a shot-caller.

There’s an old saying about the hazards of throwing stones in a glass house.  Daughtry may be learning that lesson.  Amid her lust to smear Knott as a disloyal Republican, it appears Daughtry forgot about this piece of Facebook “gold” from 2012:

Right now, we’re looking at a whole lot of linguini-spined (R)s “representing” us in Raleigh for the next two years.  Remember, Dan Bishop is leaving Congress regardless of how November goes for him.  Mark Harris, the apparent victor in NC-08, looks like a real plus for conservatives.  Brad Knott looks like a good bet for giving Harris some help.