This morning came word that Cherie Berry, Commissioner of Labor, will not be running for the U.S. Senate next year. From the very beginning, we were skeptical about Berry entering the race. While she has name recognition, her fundraising prowess is untested and she has made no comments in the past expressing an interest in pursuing higher office. Indeed, most of the buzz about Berry came from PPP, a Democratic polling company.
Democrats will no doubt be crowing about this “recruiting failure” on the part of Republicans and imply that Berry was scared of by the strength of incumbent senator Kay Hagan. Republicans will be mourning the loss of what appears to be their strongest potential candidate.
But the reality is that this is good news for the GOP. Last week, we said Berry was probably not as strong as polls indicated, and North Carolina Republicans should be wary of her potential candidacy. Finally, the absence of Berry means one less candidate. Forces, both state and nationwide, are trying to cut down the field as much as possible in order to prevent a competitive and ugly primary. The more people in the race, the more of a circus the primary becomes. That’s just a fact.
In other news, it appears Rep. Renee Ellmers is leaning against a Senate bid herself. That would leave Virginia Foxx as the only female candidate who hasn’t yet given some hint of her intentions. We’re going to find out soon. In a little over a month, the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina will have begun – for real.