Whenever a door closes, another opens. And today, the University of North Carolina’s loss could be the Democrats’ gain. They’ve been looking for a Senate candidate to take on Richard Burr and few people fit the bill as well as UNC President Tom Ross. He’s got the profile, connections and gravitas to make a great U.S. Senator.

Tom Ross has had a stellar career as a leader in North Carolina. Before he became president of the UNC system, he was president of Davidson College, one of the South’s premier private liberal arts colleges. Before that, he was executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in the state. He also served as director of the administrative office of the courts and as a superior court judge.

At a time when people are fed up with politics as usual, Ross brings the heft of a career in public service. He also brings a solid background in education and North Carolina is still an education state, regardless of how hard the Republicans have tried to change that. Ross would be a formidable candidate who would bring instant credibility even if he lacks name recognition among the general public.

Run, Tom, Run. North Carolina needs you now more than ever. If the UNC Board of Governors is dumb enough to give you up, we’ll take you. You’re not ready to quit and we’re not ready to lose you. Run, Tom, Run.

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