Republican State Lawmaker Launches 2020 Gubernatorial Bid in Challenge to Dan Forest

RALEIGH – The long rumored primary battle for the Republican 2020 gubernatorial nomination became a reality Thursday morning as State House Member and Army veteran Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) launched her campaign for governor with a biographical video.

Grange is in her third term in the North Carolina House of Representatives, representing portions of the Wilmington area. Third generation military and an NRA instructor, Grange was one of the first women to graduate from West Point. Her entry into the race, directly challenging the long presumed and popular front runner, seems to be an establishment rebuke of sorts of the conservative Forest.

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Forest, who got a shout out from President Trump at a campaign rally in Greenville Wednesday and was named an honorary chair of the president’s reelection campaign in North Carolina, has been setting the stage for a 2020 bid for governor for years. However, Forest has gained a reputation among the powers that be of being a little to deferential to conservative values instead of establishment politics. He doesn’t play ball, and that apparently rubbed enough insiders the wrong way that they put up a decorated female Army veteran to challenge him.

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Those same powers are quick to criticize conservative primary challengers, saying bloody primary battles are unnecessary and weaken Republican chances against Democrats in general elections. It’s funny how that sentiment change when the years-long established front runner happens to be a little too far Right for the Swamp’s liking.

A Grange candidacy would continue the establishment GOP push to elect more Republican women to high offices. That gender politics trend borrowed from the Left has fittingly tended to favor female candidates of the more moderate variety. Grange seems to be no exception, having voted to repeal House Bill 2 (The ‘bathroom bill’ barring biological men in girls bathrooms and locker rooms in government facilities and school, and vice versa, passed in response to radical progressive ordinances in Charlotte) and more recently supporting a Republican version of expanding healthcare entitlements like Medicaid.

She is a cosponsor of House Bill 655, which creates a brand new health insurance entitlement for hundreds of thousands of lower-income, able-bodied adults in North Carolina. It’s all paid for, one way or another, by other taxpayers or those that pay for their own health insurance. It is essentially Medicaid expansion by another name.

From the Fayetteville Observer:

“[…] Like Medicaid expansion that has been passed in other Republican-led states, Lambeth’s bill includes a work requirement and the payment of small premiums. At a press conference last week, New Hanover Rep. Holly Grange, a Republican co-sponsor of the bill, said, “Hard-working families in North Carolina are being left behind by a broken health care system. These families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance.” […]”

The healthcare system was certainly thrown into disarray by Obamacare and too much government involvement. It is hard to reconcile sponsoring MORE government involvement and taxpayer-funded handouts in healthcare with the ‘conservative’ label.

Now that Grange has launched her long rumored campaign for governor it will be interesting to see who lines up behind which candidate, from state lawmakers to congressmen and senators. While many politicians choose to stay out of primaries, the fact of Grange’s challenge to Forest and the network of support she’d need to succeed in that challenge makes it likely that notable establishment figures are already backing her.

Let the conservative grassroots versus GOP establishment battle begin…

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