RALEIGH – As talk of a possible 2020 Republican primary battle in the race for governor swirls, The Dan Forest campaign is reinforcing its position with the announcement of Colonel (Ret.) Ron Rabin as Chairman of Veterans for Dan Forest – a statewide coalition of men and women who served in the Armed Forces and which is dedicated to the election of Forest as governor.
Col. Rabin, who many may know from his three terms in the State Senate, has quite the credentials to be leading a group of veterans to advance a Republican like Forest.
From the press release:
“Colonel (Ret.) Rabin served for 24 years in the United States Army and for three terms as a State Senator for District 12 in North Carolina. While serving in the US Army, Colonel (Ret.) Rabin received multiple awards and distinctions, including the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters (OLC) and the Bronze Star with 2 OLC. […]
Military highlights include: Graduating from the National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington, DC; leading an Infantry Battalion in combat operations in Vietnam; serving on the Army Staff in the Pentagon; analyzing combat and strategic intelligence; leading a Special Forces Detachment in a counterinsurgency environment; Director of the Command Staff and Leadership Department and Director of Evaluation at the US Army Infantry School (USAIS), Ft. Benning, GA; Director of the Training Effectiveness Analysis Division, TRASANA, WSMR, NM as well as other commands, staff and leadership positions.”
In addition to his distinguished military career, Col. Rabin excelled as a civilian in the Aerospace and Defense Industry before going on to serve with distinction in the General Assembly where he co-chaired multiple prominent committees.
Of Rabin, Forest appropriately said, “Col. Rabin’s vast military and servant leadership experience speaks for itself. We are honored to have him as a part of our team.”
The announcement comes amid rumors that forces are at work offer Forest a Republican primary challenger in the form of State House member and West Point graduate Holly Grange. Allegedly Grange, who served in the US Army for 15 years before getting her juris doctor and currently represents a district in the Wilmington area, has received assurances of financial and political support from the likes of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and company.
Interestingly, while apparently trying to organize a Forest challenger behind the scenes, the Tillis camp recently bemoaned of their own bulging 2020 challenge that, “No one benefits from a combative primary in a battleground.”
Except, of course, if that challenge serves to protect Tillis’ and the Establishment’s interests against a conservative that might not play ball the way they’ve come to expect.
Within the context of a Forest-Grange primary battle, the leadership from appointing Col. Rabin chair of the Veterans for Dan Forest should serve the lieutenant governor well as the impetus to build a winning coalition gets much more pronounced. As summer takes hold, expect to see more impressive reinforcements arrive to the Forest camp.