RALEIGH – This November North Carolinians will have another party choice on many local races, and at least one congressional race. The Constitution Party of NC had its convention last weekend, nominating a slue of candidates to challenge Democrats and Republicans from county commissions to the U.S. Capitol.
The Triad Conservative, actually the party treasurer, presents a comprehensive list of which ballots those the Constitution candidates will feature:
- Tony Keech who will be running for County Sheriff in Beaufort County against Republican Ernie Coleman and Al J. Whitney, the Democrat;
- Kevin Hayes who will be running for North Carolina House District 4 against Republican Jimmy Dixon in eastern North Carolina;
- Mark Crowe who will be running for North Carolina House District 42 around Fayetteville against Democrat Marvin Lucas and Republican Daniel Travieso;
- Allen Poindexter who will be running for North Carolina House District 90 around Mount Airy and Surry County against Republican Sarah Stevens and also Democrat John Wiles;
- Stuart Collins who will be running for North Carolina Senate District 37 in Charlotte against Democrat Jeff Jackson and Republican Nora Trotman;
- Sharon Hudson who was nominated to run for North Carolina Senate District 41 outside of Charlotte against Republican Jeff Tarte and Democrat Natasha Marcus;
- Greg Holt who will be running for Craven County Commissioner District 1 against Tom Mark and Jeff O’Neill;
- Jerry Jones who will be running for Greene County Commissioner District 3 against Natasha Sutton;
- Peggy Lanier who will be running for Pender County Commissioner District 3 against George Brown; and
- David Fallin who will be running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 7th congressional district around Wilmington and the eastern stretch of I-40 against Republican David Rouzer and Democrat Kyle Horton.
There won’t be an opportunity for any statewide races until 2020, but the results of these 2018 races will be interesting to see. Picking off county commission seats is probably a good strategy to build a bench of local party representatives that raise brand legitimacy and trust levels among local voting bases.
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The risks inherent to a third party challenge from the Right, of course, is that the split vote among conservatives ends up handing the race to a Democrat. That risk is likely most acute in the N.C. House races with Republican incumbents.
The U.S. House race, too, will be interesting. Rouzer coasted to reelection in 2016 with 60 percent of the vote, but faces a stiffer challenge this time around. Might Fallin make a big enough dent in the vote totals to throw that seat toward Democrats? Could a brand new party, merely weeks old in North Carolina, actually win a congressional election right out of the gate? Time will tell.
Looking toward 2020, council of state and gubernatorial races come to mind and the Constitution Party will have a lot more time to field and vet candidates.