RALEIGH – With super-majorities in the General Assembly, North Carolina Republicans have a deep bench of politicians that could enter what is setting up to be a very dynamic and consequential 2018 congressional campaign season.
The latest scoop from Brant Clifton at Daily Haymaker is that N.C. Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Jacksonville) is all but assured to run in the U.S. House District 3 Republican primary.
“That’s the word on the street (at least the streets in the Third Congressional District). I’ve heard from a number of movers and shakers in the 3rd district NCGOP who tell me they’ve heard from the North Carolina Senate Majority Leader and folks close to him about this.
“This is not testing the waters,” one source in the know told me. “This is ‘I’m IN.’ ””
This is the district long held by Republican Rep. Walter Jones. Jones has seen a few primary challengers in the last cycle or two, but none could unseat the incumbent, no matter his tendency to stake out maverick positions against the grain of his party.
Jones’ latest stand was a vote against the GOP tax cuts because it is projected to add to the deficit. Well, Big Government’s sending addiction is really what will add to the deficit, but that’s another story.
Brown may have some trouble with conservatives back home though, due to his support of the lottery and folding on the issue of House Bill 2 when the public relations heat became too much for him.
Also, there is already another primary candidate in the mix coming from lobbyist Scott Dacey.
“Sources in the district see Brown’s entry as a serious blow to Dacey. Dacey had been the leading option for the anti-Jones vote. But many of the folks were troubled by his work as a lobbyist for Indian gaming interests. Brown is seen by many in the district as a more palatable option for the anti-Jones contingent in the district.”
Whatever local voters may think of the three of these men, primary elections with non-incumbent options is a trend that many conservatives would like to see spread to other races through out the state.
We’ll be watching closely for Brown’s announcement and his reasoning as to why he deserves the seat over Jones.