So, it now looks like we have a race for Attorney General in November. (Someone else COULD pop up to file for the March primary. But it’s not looking likely.)
Why is the AG’s office so important? The attorney general is THE lawyer for the state of North Carolina. When interest groups go to court to sue the state, the AG is supposed to be there for us. In cases where there has been a GOP legislature and / or governor, a Democrat AG (Cooper AND Stein) has regularly declined to DO his job and defend us. The governor and / or legislators have had to hire private counsel at taxpayer expense. Roy Cooper and Josh Stein regularly joined national left-wing lawsuits attacking conservative ideas.
The governor’s race is very sexy and very high-profile. That’s where the jobs and the favors get handed out. But at the attorney general level, that’s where things happen that impact our economy, our society, and our lives EVERY DAY.
In Democrat Jeff Jackson and Republican Dan Bishop, we have two gifted attorneys who give barnburner speeches. Both are great on their feet. Jackson is a dyed-in-the-wool leftist in the mold of Josh Stein. Dan Bishop has been a pretty decent conservative who – in recent months and years – has been running around causing a good kind of mayhem with the US House Freedom Caucus.
Real differences. We COULD get a heck of a seminar on conservatism v. liberalism. But, knowing the campaign consultant class we have in this state, I doubt it. The doctrine of *nanny-nanny-boo-boo* will likely dominate the debate.
Jackson favors the decriminalization of marijuana and was a big fan of Roe v. Wade. He’s been hip-deep into feminist issues — even participating in those obnoxious “Women’s March” events protesting the election of Donald Trump. (Remember the so-called “pussy hats” that emerged from those events? There has GOT to be a photo of Jackson wearing one of those things. If you have one, please – pretty please – send us a copy.)
For what it’s worth, Jackson also took $$$ from the “alleged” thieves at the scandal-ridden, beleaguered bitcoin exchange FTX. (Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only North Carolina pol who did.)
Bishop, during his time in the General Assembly, gave us the notorious HB2 law that codified what was thought to be common sense: men stay in the men’s room, ladies stay in the ladies’ restroom. Unfortunately, Bishop and his legislation got knifed in the back by the drive-by media and a lot of his weak-kneed colleagues. In DC, Bishop has made a lot of noise, and asked a lot of uncomfortable questions, about Hunter & Joe Biden as well as the handling of January 6. Bishop was also a lead negotiator in the agreement that led to ending the January speaker vote stalemate and electing Kevin McCarthy. (As we all know, McCarthy’s violation of that agreement led to his ouster and replacement.)
A couple of job-hoppers. Both candidates have done quite a bit of moving around in their political careers.
Jackson was an assistant district attorney in the Charlotte area when he was appointed to fill the state senate seat of Democrat Dan Clodfelter — who was moving on to be mayor of Charlotte. Jackson flirted with a 2022 US Senate run, but instead ran for – and won – a US House seat.
Bishop did a term as a Mecklenburg County commissioner. He got elected to a term in the NC House and a term in the NC Senate before moving on to the US House in 2019. Here, at the end of his second term, Bishop is leaving DC to aim for the attorney general job in Raleigh.
Social media stars. Both of these men have figured out how to leverage social media to their benefit.
Jackson announced his AG run with a corny boxing themed video on TikTok. (The Bishop campaign responded by welcoming “Chinese social media star” Jeff Jackson to the race.). You can also find him on just about every other freakin’ social media platform there is.
Perhaps Jackson’s announcement will revive THIS great parody Twitter account that trolled Jackson back in 2018.
Bishop has found some success on Twitter, and on the conservative blogosphere. He’s been a guest on conservative podcasts such as Steve Bannon’s WarRoom and Timcast. Videos of his performances in-committee have also proliferated onto YouTube.