Apr
18

NC-10 Primary Open Thread

By

As a result of the efforts of the GOP majority in Raleigh, I’m a newly minted resident of the 10th Congressional District, as are most Buncombe County citizens. Congressman Patrick McHenry has been serving for several terms after a successful stint as National Coalition Director for George W. Bush’s 2000 Presidential campaign. He’s got a Republican challenger in the primary named Ken Fortenberry. Be careful if you click that last link, it brings up his website with a mini-Ken that starts talking at you.

From an Asheville government perspective, we’re very hopeful that Rep. McHenry will be as supportive as Rep. Shuler has been in regards to securing transit funding resources as well as communicating with us about other opportunities for furthering our strategic goals.

There are three Democrats vying for the chance to unseat Rep. McHenry. Patsy Keever is a progressive standard-bearer with impeccable credentials and ethics, though it’s unclear how well her views will play with folks down the mountain. Her 2004 Congressional run against Charles Taylor was competently executed, so it’s clear she’s got the organizational chops. Keever is the strongest voice in the race for education and women’s rights, including the right to choose.

Mayor of Asheville Terry Bellamy is also running, and word is that she’s got the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which will help her organizationally and financially. Keever and Bellamy raised roughly the same amount of money according to the most recent documents. Bellamy has demonstrated a conservative streak that she’s balanced through advocacy for affordable housing and transit services.

The other Dem in the race is Timothy Murphy, who describes himself as proud liberal. I don’t know anything about him except what I see on his campaign website.

What’s the CW on this race? Keever and Bellamy will each get a lot of Asheville votes, but who has the edge in the rest of the district? Will the Democratic nominee’s stance on abortion rights be an important issue in the general election? Is McHenry beatable? Please opine at length in the comments.

Comments

  1. shadmarsh says:

    McHenry is beatable. He comes across as arrogant and not all the bright, plus I’m guessing he has a few skeletons in the ol’ closet that might not go over to well with the “traditional values” crowd. That being said, I don’t know if any of these challengers can beat him. Bellamy will probably win the D nod, as she’ll raise the most dough. FWIW, I’ll be voting for Keever.

  2. Jake says:

    Terry also has support from the Congressional Black Caucus.

    I think Terry will have the edge in the eastern part of NC-10. Her social conservatism will make her more palatable to Piedmont Dems. She has already been busy speaking at church meetings.

    I’m not sure about the African American demographics in the Piedmont, but I’d expect her to have an edge there as well.

    While Asheville is one of the major population centers in the district, and the Mayor is not univerally loved here, I do see where she will have the better position to win the NC-10 primary.

  3. James Atkinson says:

    I also think that McHenry is beatable. In the last serious contested NC10 race in 2008, the Democratic challenger had a respectable showing despite being outspent by nearly $1 million by an entrenched incumbent.

    The presence of Asheville in NC10 in 2008 very easily could have made for a photo finish.

    An organized, serious Democratic challenger who can attract district support as well as national Party backing can find a path to victory. That path needs to include Asheville as a solid D bloc, which is why I think that Keever ultimately may prove the stronger NC10 Democratic candidate.

    Curiously, the titular Democratic challenger in 2010, Shelby Postmaster Jeff Gregory, made some early noise about running again during the current cycle as a stereotypical Fair Tax, anti-immigration, small-government-but-huge-military conservative. Seems he didn’t actually file this time around, but it’s clear to me that the 2010 race was a sham.

  4. Robert Danos says:

    McHenry is not beatable. His “hard re-elect” numbers are in the top 1/3 of incumbents.

    The “last serious contested NC10 race in 2008”, as referred to by Mr. Atkinson above, ended in a 57% – 42% win. That is not seriously contested.

    The addition of Asheville to NC10 was almost entirely offset in terms of the “partisan index” shift by expansion on the other end.

    I would give Bellamy an edge in the primary.

  5. mat catastrophe says:

    “The presence of Asheville in NC10 in 2008 very easily could have made for a photo finish.”

    Are you saying the punchline could wind up being that the GOP loses the 10th, even if it “gains”(*) the 11th?

    (*) – come on, Shuler’s a Republican. Just face it.

  6. shadmarsh says:

    McHenry is not beatable. His “hard re-elect” numbers are in the top 1/3 of incumbents.

    There’s no such thing as “unbeatable,” my friend.

  7. Ascend of Asheville says:

    We had Tim Murphy on the Little Shop of Attitude last Sunday evening. He is well-spoken, self deprecating, and has a lot of “regular guy” charm that should play well out in the district. He doesn’t have the money or organization to make much of a splash, but I think if he sets his sights a little lower and keeps at it, he will be a good Democratic soldier going forward.
    If you want to hear it, go to http://www.ashevillefm.org/little-shop-of-attitude-lsoa

    Does anyone think that the convention in Charlotte has any potential effect on the outcome in the 10th?

  8. RHS says:

    McHenry might be beatable on paper, but in practice? Well, that’s another matter. Republicans simply removed Asheville from NC-11 where it combined with Democratic areas like Jackson, Madison, Swain, and Haywood counties and put it in NC-10 where it is the only significant Democratic territory. This might pull McHenry’s margin down a few points, but he has plenty of room for error.

    McHenry is about as odious as Republicans come and that is saying something. As I’ve said before it won’t take long for having Patrick McHenry “represent” them in Congress before Asheville progressives start pining for when Heath Shuler was their Congressman.

    As for who would be the strongest Democrat to run against him is hard to say, although I have to admit I swooned quite a bit when Tim Murphy says, on his web site:

    “I am a proud Liberal. I believe that liberal ideals are the bedrock of American exceptionalism. That we value the life of the poorest child on par with that of the richest industrialist is a trait we should hope to never lose. Through legislation and progressive taxation, our country enjoys a standard of living far above that of a century ago. We owe that to the liberal movement. I will fight to preserve it.”

  9. Jake says:

    From 2010 Census numbers:

    NC-10 is roughly 10.7% African American.

    Gaston County has about 31,000 AA voters, followed by Buncombe
    with about 15,000. There are roughly 60,000 AA voters in the 10th.

    McHenry won the old 10th in 2009 with a 20,000 vote margin.

    Can Terry mobilize the AA vote? What effect does the Convention so close by mean for mobilizing AA voters?

  10. Michael Muller says:

    Jake is correct as usual. And Congressman McHenry is beatable — but certainly not by Patsy Keever.

    MM

    P.S. Sure is exciting around these parts lately!

  11. shadmarsh says:

    “I am a proud Liberal. I believe that liberal ideals are the bedrock of American exceptionalism. That we value the life of the poorest child on par with that of the richest industrialist is a trait we should hope to never lose. Through legislation and progressive taxation, our country enjoys a standard of living far above that of a century ago. We owe that to the liberal movement. I will fight to preserve it.”

    American exceptionalism is, quite simply, a myth. And has lead (both left and right) into the trap of Imperialism (among many other things).

  12. shadmarsh says:

    If the Dems want to beat McHenry they need two things: A candidate like Shuler (politically, certainly not intellectually…if the words Shuler and intellectual can even be used in the same sentence). And a willingness to “play dirty.” With a stress on the second point. Not that I condone such things, but if the local Democratic intelligentsia can’t see this obvious point, or have an unwillingness to “go there,” then they should find someone who is willing to do so. Of course, what do I know.

  13. Mark Cates says:

    Shad,

    [Of course, what do I know.]

    Hmm… you do make a good point, but don’t sell yourself short. You seem to know a great deal…

    McHenry: [He comes across as arrogant and not all the bright…]

    Shuler: [if the words Shuler and intellectual can even be used in the same sentence…]

    Democratic intelligentsia: [if the local Democratic intelligentsia can’t see this obvious point]

    And you know this, too:

    [American exceptionalism is, quite simply, a myth]

  14. Ascend of Asheville says:

    I’d love to be sitting in on Bellamy’s conference calls about now.

  15. shadmarsh says:

    Thanks, Mark. You could say I’m trying to strike a blow in the heart of enemy territory.

    But seriously, forgive me offering my opinions on this here political opinion blog. Perhaps you have a few of your own you’d like to share (that aren’t about me)?

  16. RHS says:

    “American exceptionalism is, quite simply, a myth. And has lead (both left and right) into the trap of Imperialism (among many other things).”

    I’m not disagreeing with you. I was just saying that I did get a charge out of the term being used for something other than an excuse for the things you mentioned.

    As for post #12 I agree abut what it would take to beat McHenry and I don’t think that Patsy Keever — a lovely human being and an exceptional public servant who I have voted for every time she has been on my ballot — could even come close to being willing to play as dirty as it is going to take. Still, I don’t know what the alternative is. I just hope the powers that be at the DCCC (or somebody else) will put some money and elbow grease into this race when McHenry is unknown to a good chunk of his new constituents. Not that I’m holing my breath for that, or anything.

  17. mat catastrophe says:

    For someone who cries foul when he’s “teased”, Mr. Cates sure is being a dick to shad.

  18. Mark Cates says:

    Mat,

    [“teased”]

    That made me laugh outloud. Thanks.

  19. Mark Cates says:

    Shad,

    [Thanks, Mark. You could say I’m trying to strike a blow in the heart of enemy territory.]

    Well, if you said that I would promise not to quote you out of context. That’s a step up from what one can expect from the hard-core progressives and Councilman Smith.

    Perhaps you could add the context of being treated like an enemy in your own town?

    [But seriously, forgive me offering my opinions on this here political opinion blog.]

    If one were to hold to the standards of Councilman Smith’s blog (which I personally don’t) phrases like this would now be directed at you:

    [you’re a completely clueless individual]

    [I dislike ignorant, uninformed, or flat-out poorly constructed opinions]

    And maybe this one if you recall…

    [put on the big boy pants.]

  20. shadmarsh says:

    Are you coming on to me?

  21. Mark Cates says:

    Nah, it’s just that the hard-core progressives are often so rude and mean-spirited that I assumed nothing I said would bother anyone.

    I had no idea you were so sensitive. It’s almost as if you think we should treat each other with mutual respect. That’s a novel concept for Scru Hoo. I’m game if you are?

  22. Andrew Dahm says:

    You do realize somebody who endorsed Romney has threatened to assassinate the President of the United States on two occasions, don’t you, Mr. Cates?

    Just saying there’s bad manners and then there’s threats of violence, which I don’t believe you, your pants, or members of your party ever get subjected to, but are a commonplace among the effluent your party produces.

    Thank you. You’re welcome. See? Manners.

  23. shadmarsh says:

    OK…well all I can say to that is, if you have a personal problem with me, please feel free to send it to me directly via email, or regular mail (tho preferably not with anthrax or pipe bomb attached), as you’re kind of off topic here.

  24. Andrew Dahm says:

    I love Annie Hall. It’s about Republicans.

  25. mat catastrophe says:

    Mutual respect for a troll who continues to post off-topic nonsense?

    No.

  26. nick s says:

    McHenry’s not beatable, barring dead girl / live boy, which I suppose has been dealt with upthread.

    You have to admire the evil genius of the redistricting, as it exploits the geographic and cultural discontinuity between Asheville and the foothills.

    Dems in AVL and environs would do a lot better to focus their time and money squarely on state races this time round, particularly the removal of King Timmy.

  27. Davyne Dial says:

    What a fascinating thread.

  28. Ascend of Asheville says:

    We tried the kumbaya approach on another recent thread and it did not seem to change anything, which I’m sure must be my fault.
    I think our guest is one of those operatives responsible for being the “egg-beater”. His job is to keep the frenzy going, run interference, use up the oxygen in the room as much as possible and personalize the issues, drawing attention and energy away from actual progress, work and above all clarity. Because as Nietzsche said, lack of clarity brings chaos. Chaos obfuscates perception. Lack of perception makes us all react at a more base level, according to pre-formed ideas and animistic logical fallacies.
    Why? It’s good for business. I’m heading off to make chaos happen myself here in a bit. They hate me over there, boy, you should hear it. Makes the group here sound like choir boys.

  29. Davyne Dial says:

    I still say respect once lost is hard to regain.

    For me, it was the need to bring into lil ole Asheville City Council race, a Chicago / DC public relations operative, while acting all down home, that raised my suspicions.

  30. Michael Muller says:

    Don’t be an idiot, suetwo.

    Terry Bellamy is probably one of the most politically astute players in all of Western North Carolina. Underestimate her at your own peril.

    MM

    P.S. Have a nice day!

  31. A. Chandler says:

    Michael: how many drinks have you had tonight? Put that cosmopolitian down and clear your head. Bellamy speaks about as well as porky pig. dudududaadat’s all folks!

  32. Michael Muller says:

    Depends on how you count, Angel.

    But still…you’re making my point.

  33. A. Chandler says:

    Michael, you mean she talks like that on purpose? Why would she do that? To make the white folks less threatened by a black mayor? To disarm folks? To appear foolish in public in order to be able to do her jedi-like political maneuvering behind the scenes with little detection until it is too late to stop her? I don’t know.

  34. shadmarsh says:

    Bellamy may not be the most polished public speaker (tho I’ve heard plenty worse), but she’s no dim bulb.

  35. Gordon Smith says:

    This is a group blog without an administrator, not “Councilman Smith’s blog”.

  36. Tim Peck says:

    “Penis picture, gay sex descriptions among sexual harassment allegations against NC Democrat”

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/18/penis-picture-detailed-gay-sex-descriptions-among-sexual-harassment-allegations-against-nc-democrat/#ixzz1sTjOQfq3
    ………………………..

  37. Ascend of Asheville says:

    I heard Bellamy speaking to McGrady & company at the Grace Covenant water meeting, and it was the first time I had heard her in an apparently off the cuff fashion. She’s no bumpkin.

  38. TJ says:

    “Bellamy may not be the most polished public speaker (tho I’ve heard plenty worse), but she’s no dim bulb.”

    Well, maybe I caught her on a bad day, but I spent 20 min.(she was 10 min late) with her a few months ago. Apparently, she felt she had a little more understanding what Occupy was about(altho’, I had only intended it as a meet/greet). Problem was, Occupy had been around since October, and the meeting was much later. I couldn’t figure out how she did not have more knowledge about a group that seemed to be the bane of her existence at the time (and, most likely, the subject of many prayer meetings for those jobless hippies to take a shower and get a job 😉 ).

    Simply put, I had the impression that I had just spent 20 min. talking to myself, after which she stood up like the stereotypical Stepford wife, handed myself and my daughter a business card, shook my hand and saw us to the door.

    VERY underwhelmed with her…especially after hearing her outright bigotry in the Council meeting. Not too bright, IME.

    Of course, it could have just been a bad day, month, meeting…whatever. 8-(

  39. TJ says:

    “I had no idea you were so sensitive. It’s almost as if you think we should treat each other with mutual respect. That’s a novel concept for Scru Hoo. I’m game if you are”

    Can’t say I would like feeling “picked on” in any format. I have occasionally asked for personal feedback regarding remarks I leave, and, I know that everything is up for scrutiny (REALLY! I didn’t think of the blog name as I wrote that), thus, the appropo name Scrutiny Hooligans (welcome to the Hooligan’s living room 😉 ).

    I also am keenly aware that almost every other comment forum (save 2) I have viewed not only has extensive negative…up to what I would consider abusive commentary, as well as language that begs the question what level of intelligence – or, not – reigns there.

    ScruHoo is almost as tame as some of the religious ones I have seen, in comparison.

  40. TJ says:

    “This is a group blog without an administrator, not “Councilman Smith’s blog”

    Well, where IS admin when you really need them??

    When the cat’s away, etc.

    Politically speaking, for the presidential race, I say we vote for the dogs. The REAL ones, that is ;-).

  41. mat catastrophe says:

    “This is a group blog without an administrator, not ‘Councilman Smith’s blog’.”

    Just like SuperPACs don’t “coordinate with the candidate”!

  42. Gordon Smith says:

    Mat,

    Everyone who writes here has complete editorial freedom. There are no editors or administrators. We don’t huddle or strategize. It’s an organic thing that becomes what it becomes. Always an experiment, we’re nearly eight years in, and I have no idea what might happen next.

  43. Jake says:

    I’ll agree that Terry Bellamy is no Cicero, but she is clear-minded. That said, there is no candidate debate, so the comparison of Bellamy and McHenry head to head will not happen. For most voters in the 10th, Terry’s message will be from a script, and her delivery will be polished.

    House races are more low-profile in the modern media environment, as they don’t have the cash to run elaborate air/radio wars. These races are much more about base turnout than winning the mushy center.

    While we in Asheville tend to think that the world rotates about us, I don’t expect many, if any campaign events for Terry in the City. Her goal will be to win the primary, and to count on liberal Asheville support as the Democrat in November. President Obama will get excellent support in Asheville in November, and I think Terry will benefit from that downticket.

  44. shadmarsh says:

    and I have no idea what might happen next.

    Well, I’m going to put on some pants. I’ve yet to receive my marching orders for the day, Gordon, but I am assuming that is ok.

    Also, what Jake said.

  45. TJ says:

    “Always an experiment, we’re nearly eight years in, and I have no idea what might happen next.”

    I can say that is true in my experience. When I posted a 9/11 piece, it was submitted to the whole group of posters for a decision to post it or not, as well as any edits. Gordon was not included in that process, other than the original submission.

    “Penis picture, gay sex descriptions among sexual harassment allegations against NC Democrat”

    Thanks, Tim, for your positive contribution. And, so… what is the point of pasting what we already know?

  46. TJ says:

    As long as Bellamy spouts off about how she is all about equality and justness, yet, we have her public statement about her feelings about gay issues, I can’t see her as anything other than stupid.

    At least Nixon thought his conversations were private.

  47. mat catastrophe says:

    Gordon,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTwnwbG9YLE

    SMILE BECAUSE IT’S THURSDAY.