It Begins …

by | May 25, 2013 | Carolina Strategic Analysis, Features

tillis again

Supporters of Thom Tillis have set up a Super PAC to aid him in the upcoming Senate race against Kay Hagan. The PAC is called “Grow NC Strong” and is headed by Champ Mitchell, who is the brother of Former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell. Take a look at some of the quotes from these people to get a glimpse of what campaign themes Tillis is going to be running on:

““Our state’s failing economy is turning around under the leadership of Thom Tillis, and there’s a reason for that: Thom understands North Carolina businesses.”

“[He] proves every day in Raleigh that his private sector experience equipped him perfectly for the difficult job of protecting priorities while balancing a budget.”

You get the picture. Tillis is obviously going to be running on his business background and his experience as a manager. This didn’t work out so well for one candidate last year, but it’ll be hard for Tillis to be more awkward and out-of-touch than Romney was. And, just so you all remember – Romney won North Carolina last year. The key for any Republican running for Senate next year in North Carolina is just to keep all the Romney voters in their flock. That’s it – but it’s easier said than done.

As for the primary, it’s always a good thing to have a Super PAC on your side. George Holding proved that last year when he swamped Paul Coble despite Coble’s better name recognition and years of government experience. Tillis will obviously have money, and lots of it. Who else can bring in the dough? Berger, if he runs, will probably set up a Super PAC of his own, but a source says that Berger is ‘moving away’ from launching a campaign. Jim Cain will have a Super PAC if he runs. Virginia Foxx has a large campaign account which she can use for a Senate bid.

Renee Ellmers would probably have strong support from Washington D.C. if she decided to make the race, but … it doesn’t seem like she’s going to. When asked by Newsmax if she was planning to run, Ellmers said the following:

“I truly, honestly am not there just yet. And now, with as much as I’m doing in the House, my heart is kind of there in the House. It’s a difficult decision to make.

“But I will tell you that it is a winnable seat. And I’m ready to do it if it comes forward that that’s what I should do. But at the same time, if not, and my place is to stay in the House, then what I want to do is support whatever candidate moves forward.”

This isn’t the statement of someone who’s about to launch a Senate bid. Ellmers seems resigned to continuing to serve in the House and giving her support to another candidate. (Will she endorse in the primary?)

If Ellmers doesn’t run, the only member of North Carolina’s congressional delegation we haven’t heard from yet is Virginia Foxx, who has still not released a statement or anything confirming or denying interest in a Senate bid. Stay tuned, after months of quiet this race is shaping up quickly.


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