Former legislator Grier Martin is returning to the General Assembly. Deborah Ross has left to pursued a position with the Triangle Transit Authority. Republicans deviously double-bunked Martin and Ross during the 2011 redistricting, and Martin bowed down. Now he’s back.
Rep. Martin is popular in Democratic circles and has the ability to appeal to both the liberal and centrist wings of that party. He was first elected back in 2004, when Democrats had a pretty good year in Wake County, and was reelected each time thereafter. Perhaps due to his Army service, Martin has been mentioned as a statewide candidate, most recently for Richard Burr’s seat in the 2010 senate election. An attorney, he is the son of D.G. Martin, who is notable for finishing second to John Edwards in the 1998 Democratic primary for Senate. It perhaps goes without saying that the elder Martin would have probably been a better senator than Mr. Edwards.
Keep an eye on Grier Martin. He could be a candidate for senate or governor in 2016. But perhaps Martin’s future is in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was rumored that Brad Miller and David Price made a deal, with Price agreeing to serve one more term, then step down for Miller. But former Representative Miller is taking a position with the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank. That doesn’t necessarily preclude a return to Congress. But if Miller isn’t interested in going back to Congress, then that could open the door for Grier Martin.
Martin’s profile is similar to that of former Representative Cal Cunningham, who is also an attorney with military service. But Cunningham has rubbed a lot of Democrats the wrong way in the past couple of years, and Martin’s future in politics is brighter. He will be a strong contender for whatever office he wants in the future.