Thursday, July 19, 2018

More Good Fundraising News from NCGA Candidates

In House District 6, Democrat Tess Judge outraised Republican Bobby Hanig in both the First Quarter and the Second Quarter for what is now an open seat. (Hanig beat out incumbent Republican Beverly Boswell in the May primary.) In the Second Quarter especially, Judge raised $63,583.23 to Hanig's $13,050. The 6th District was redrawn this year to encompass Dare, Currituck, Hyde, and Pamlico counties on the North Carolina coast.

Democrat Tess Judge was helping her husband Warren Judge run against Beverly Boswell in 2016 when he tragically died in the last week of that campaign, practically on the eve of the election. Democratic leaders wanted Tess to replace her husband on the ballot, but it was too late for making that change, and even deceased, Warren Judge got 48.17% of the vote against Boswell. Tess is back this year running in her own right. Tess Judge has worked in hospitality management her entire career and is well known in the coastal community for serving on the Board of Directors of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce. She and her late husband Warren were named Co-Citizens of the Year by the Chamber in 2011. “As someone who has operated small businesses in our community for years, through good times and bad, I know how to manage a budget while also creating jobs .... Our people are our greatest resource – it’s time to listen and invest in them. We need to make public education a priority again. For years we have been asking our great teachers to do more with less and our schools and community colleges are underfunded. I’m running to ensure that our investments in public education result in more opportunities for our students and a workforce trained for the jobs of the future,” she said. She also currently serves on the Board of the Outer Banks Hospital and is Chair of the Outer Banks Hospital Development Council. She's been outspoken in opposition to off-shore drilling.

In House District 98, Thom Tillis's old seat in north Mecklenburg County, now held by Republican incumbent John Bradford, spunky Democrat Christy Clark has outraised Bradford in combined First and Second Quarters $70,890.47 to $17,165.62.

Democrat Christy Clark currently works as an intellectual property and business law paralegal at the law firm founded by her husband in Charlotte. She received her undergraduate degree in English at Roanoke College and her Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. She's been particularly involved with gun violence prevention, serving as the North Carolina Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action. In that role, she says, she has spent many hours lobbying lawmakers in Raleigh, attending both committee meetings and House/Senate sessions. As a paralegal she's very familiar with the Secretary of State's office and is well informed on what's required for entrepreneurship in North Carolina. "Working with a wide range of individuals and businesses from all across the state has given me the insight into what is needed to grow a business." She lists education at the top of her issues page (as do 99.9% of the Democrats running in North Carolina this year), and she's for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (as are ditto). Her campaign is organizing neighborhood canvasses (sometimes in 90-degree heat), which speaks volumes about energy in that district. Not to forget the fundraising.

In House District 93, "weatherman" Ray Russell, the Democrat, is leading incumbent Jonathan Jordan in total fundraising ($92,961.81, over both quarters, to Jordan's $46,152.42), but has also spent a lot already (signing on with the House Democratic Caucus has some steep costs). Still, Weatherman Ray still has more cash on hand at the end of the Second Quarter -- $27,426.08 to Jordan's $21,476.63. The 93rd District consists of Ashe and Watauga counties. The last time it was in Democratic hands = 2010.
Democrat Ray Russell is not your standard Democrat (non-standardization is the standard of 2018!). He used to be a Republican. He's also a preacher who attended a Bible college and has pastored several churches. But he's also a climate scientist with a deep reverence for scientific truth. He launched Ray's Weather, the on-line forecast site for the mountains of western North Carolina, in 2000, using his higher training as a computer scientist and a keen hobbyist's enthusiasm. He now employs four meteorologists and stretches his weather coverage from Asheville to Wytheville, Va. Russell announced his candidacy early in 2017 and went to work, and he's got solid campaign infrastructure: a manager and an army of volunteers and Facebook, Twitter, and website presence. He's raising money and sharpening a message and presents an energetic contrast to the lethargic Jordan: Russell, among other qualities, is a marathon runner. In 2016 he ran the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 miles, to raise money for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

In House District 119, Democrat Joe Sam Queen has outraised incumbent Republican Mike Clampitt by a good country mile. Queen has cash on hand of $56,683.66 to Clampitt's $17,491.14 (Clampitt only raised $21,850 during the Second Quarter). Queen used to own this seat, and Clampitt ran against him unsuccessfully at least twice before taking the seat in the Twitterman Wave of 2016. District 119 takes in a lot of mountain landscape -- from Waynesville, Cherokee, and Bryson City, down through Sylva and Cullowhee and south through Cashiers to the lowlands along the South Carolina border.
Democrat Joe Sam Queen is an architect in Waynesville. He provides color, and politically,  he's got plenty of grit. His family speaks to his values: "My wife, Dr. Kate Queen, is a rheumatologist for Haywood Regional Medical Center. My daughter Sara is an outstanding young architect and professor at NCSU, as well as a new mom to my first grandson Cole. My son Charlie, a chemist, is the Lab Director for Panacea, a North Carolina start up company in the field of personalized medicine. Both are graduates of the University of North Carolina system. As a united Methodist, I've taught Sunday school for over 20 years, led Boy Scouts, and coached youth soccer. And, like my granddaddy before me, I call the Appalachian Square Dance." He's served in both NC House and Senate. He won the 47th Senate District in 2002, lost it in 2004, and came back and won it again in 2006 and kept it through the election of 2010. That's grit. After he lost the Senate seat, he ran and won the House seat in 2012 and kept it through reelection in 2014. He was a vocal leader in the call to expand Medicaid in North Carolina and raise teacher pay. He is strongly against fracking in North Carolina and has made strong public remarks against it.

In House District 1, Democrat Ron Wesson, a county commissioner in Bertie County, is running against Republican Eddy Goodwin, a county commissioner in Chowan County, for an open seat on the Carolina coast. In a low-dollar campaign, Wesson has outraised Goodwin and has a cash-on-hand advantage, $17,765.43 to $7,361.50.

Democrat Ron Wesson is impressively qualified to win the seat. He's been elected and then reelected as a Bertie County commissioner, and he's served as both the chair of the board of commissioners and currently as vice-chair. He was born and raised in Bertie County, and he's married to a psychiatrist in private practice, Dr. Patricia W. Wesson. Ron completed his undergraduate work at UNC-Chapel Hill and his graduate studies at The Sloan School of Business, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then joined the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation where he served for more than 31 years, retiring as a senior vice-president and Global Leader. In 2004, Black Enterprise Magazine named Wesson one of the 50 most Influential Minorities in Business. Returning to Bertie County after retirement, he threw himself into community service, became chair of the Bertie County Chamber of Commerce, joined the Rotary Club, the Bertie County Community Foundation, and the Bertie County Schools Foundation. He moved into public service in 2012, running for and winning his seat on the county commission. He was actively recruited for this race by the Democratic House Caucus. He says on his website, "Any success that I have had in business and in life, can be directly traced to the investment that others have made in me. I have always been encouraged to look beyond one’s self and seek to support others in ways that I have been supported. My Mother once said to me…'Son, God has blessed you with enough sense to do pretty much anything you set your mind to do. You will find that there are a lot of much smarter people out there, but never let anyone out work you to achieve your goals.' I have endeavored to live by this advice, and if given the opportunity, I look forward to working hard for the citizens of North Carolina’s 1st House District."

Republicans on Watauga BOE Refuse

At the meeting of the Watauga Board of Elections yesterday, Republican members Nancy Owen and Eric Eller refused to move three election day precinct polling stations out of local churches and relocate them more in the center of population.

Democratic member Jane Anne Hodges "spoke about the challenges of having polling locations at churches, noting that the elections board office has a handshake agreement with the churches not to campaign on their property" (Watauga Democrat).

The worst church is Mount Vernon Baptist, the polling location for New River 3. It's parking lot is actually in Blue Ridge precinct, and it's far away from the center of population in the precinct. But you probably already know that.

Republicans obviously think that having polling places in churches gives them an advantage in those precincts ... since God is so obviously, indubitably in their pocket.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Democrats on Forsyth County Board of Elections Cave to Republicans

Democrats on the Forsyth elections board wanted an early voting site at Winston-Salem State University (where one has been in the past, until Republicans took over elections in 2013). Republicans were dead set against it.

Had the Forsyth board failed to reach unanimous agreement, the decision would have gone to the state Board of Elections, where there would have been a good chance of getting early voting on the campus of WSSU.

But the Democrats gave up and voted for a "compromise" plan that was actually a retreat, and WSSU will not have early voting this fall.

That's too bad.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Dems #ncga Candidates Catching Fire All Across the State

I wrote about Democratic NC House candidate Terri LeGrand showing some fundraising strength in Forsyth County yesterday. Today brings plenty more fundraising news in that same vein. If campaign fundraising is a barometer -- and it is -- then these General Assembly candidates below are looking gooder and gooder for this November.

In House District 52, Lowell Simon out-raised Republican incumbent Jamie Boles $11,987.68 to $8,450 during the Second Quarter of 2018. Those are low numbers on both sides but still interesting. Boles may be suffering from over-confidence, since he's had no opponent at all for ten years. But he's lugging some serious baggage -- evidence of self-dealing and other corruption.
Democrat Lowell Simon looks viable. He is a recently retired high school math teacher, a profession he came to late in his career after many years in business. First in New York state and then in North Carolina, he managed chains of convenience stores. He was vice president of operations for Quick Chek, a chain of about 30 convenience stores based in Troy, which brought him and his family to Seven Lakes to live. He later bought into Southern Pines based Fuel Mate, which had six BP stores. During his time teaching math at Union Pines High School, the superintendent tapped him to start an entrepreneurship program for students. "Simon has served on the boards of Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust. A political appointee of three different state House speakers from both parties, he has helped draft key legislation, including the formation of the NC Lottery .... He currently serves on the boards of Moore Regional Hospital and Moore Forward, and is president emeritus of the Sandhills Jewish Congregation" (

In Senate District 1, Democrat D. Cole Phelps raised $73,788.04 to Republican opponent Bob Steinburg's $48,417.50 during he Second Quarter. Senate District 1 hugs the coast in the northeastern corner of the state. Steinburg is currently a member of the NC House looking to move up in the world. Tea partiers consider him a cuck.
Democrat Cole Phelps is a young lawyer. How young? When he was elected to the county commission of Washington County at 24, he was the youngest member of any county commission in the state. He's serving his second term now at the age of 29. He was the first in his family to go to college, first to East Carolina for a degree in Family and Community Services and then to NC Central School of Law. He got a leg up to get that good education, and it says something about him that he immediately turned around and established a scholarship program for deserving first-generation, college-bound students in several east Carolina counties. From his very first campaign for county commission, he was pumping education and the need to keep kids in school and make college more possible. He's been named a William C. Friday Fellow. That's a prestigious group of 200 citizens deemed crucial leaders in their local communities. For the record (and this particular issue looks decisive on the coast), he's an outspoken opponent of Twitterman's scheme to drill for oil in North Carolina waters.

In Senate District 25, Democrat Helen Probst Mills outraised Republican incumbent Tom McInnis $87,933.80 to $64,642.52 in the Second Quarter. McInnis is propped up by PAC money. He was also propped up by the Republican leadership in the House during a destructive primary in May against Tea Party opposition. When you're propped up that much, you run the risk of becoming a prop.
Democrat Helen Probst Mills has been on our radar since the second week of February. She's an attorney from Pinehurst and entered politics this year, she says, in part to simply provide an option. “The reality is that I walk in on Election Day to the polling booth here in Pinehurst and there are no Democrats for me to check. We need a choice,” Mills said. “There needs to be an opportunity for an individual to stand up and to make him crystalize his position on issues and policies and to defend the votes he has taken.” Mills says she grew up a daughter to a single mother and is herself the mother of three and a cancer survivor who moved to North Carolina with her husband, Stuart, in 2006. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois. Last year, Mills was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees. She also serves on the college’s Foundation Board, where she helped develop a program allowing high school graduates to attend for two years tuition-free. She serves as development chair for the Northern Moore Family Resource Center in Robbins, which has opened a preschool and is developing a community center. She credits the overcoming of breast cancer to having health insurance: “Everyone, no matter their background or how much money they make, should have access to affordable, quality health care. Yet too many politicians in Raleigh put petty partisan politics over policies that would help thousands. That is wrong for my community and for North Carolina.” (Republican incumbent McInnis opposed, like most other Republicans in Phil Berger's senate, the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.)

In House District 36, Democrat Julie von Haefen outraised Republican incumbent and powerful chair of the House Budget Committee Nelson Dollar $70,281.64 to $38,800 in the Second Quarter. Rep. Dollar, in terms of what his pelt will fetch, is a rhino, a bull elephant, and a giraffe all in one. This is a Wake County district that was spitefully redrawn to cut out Democratic stars who had wanted to run against him, leaving the current Democratic challenger to screw up her courage and step forward to the challenge.

Democrat Julie von Haefen is president of the Wake County PTA Council and has three school-age children in the Wake County public schools. She scorched Dollar in her filing announcement for what his state budgets have done to public education: "From the expansion of school vouchers and charter schools to the failure to pay our teachers and principals what they deserve, Representative Dollar and his legislature have harmed our students and our schools. Most recently, their reckless and unfunded K-3 class size mandate caused unnecessary stress for school districts across the state. It is time to put our teachers and our children ahead of partisan politics. North Carolina's students deserve better than they are getting from our legislature. They deserve increased funding for school counselors and nurses. And they deserve a public school system with the funding and resources it needs to prepare them for the future. We owe it to our students, and to the economy, and to the state." Von Haefen is married to an NC State professor, and they have lived in Apex for the last 13 years. She trained as a lawyer and practiced law for 10 years.

In House District 51, Democrat Lisa Mathis has seriously outraised Republican incumbent John Sauls during both quarters of 2018 -- $24,963.53 to $3,500 in the First Quarter, and $49,495.26 to $5,050 in the Second Quarter.
Lisa Mathis was a "military kid" who says that repeatedly moving all over the country taught her "courage, adaptability, and a deep respect for the sacrifices of our service members and their families." She trained as an artist and graphic designer and opened a small graphic design business in Sanford, N.C. Deeply involved in community and profoundly appreciative of putting down deep roots in a single place, she started a second small business in 2003, ArtStudio in downtown Sanford, "a place for children and adults to explore their creativity." Especially children. She is a strong advocate for education spending and for expanding Medicaid. She talks on her website about helping working families and encouraging small businesses, especially in areas previously devastated by the Bush recession. She's got boots on the ground -- a good following of willing volunteers -- and a field organizer. Always a good sign.

In Senate District 9, Democrat Harper Peterson raised $52,316.03 to Republican incumbent Mike Lee's $36,300 in the Second Quarter. Lee had 20 Second Quarter donors, 11 of which were special interest PACs.
Democrat Harper Peterson has been a leader in the reaction to the GenX pollution crisis and helped start the community watchdog group Clean Cape Fear. He's also a former mayor of Wilmington and city councilman. He announced that he was running for this seat back last September. He says, "Unfortunately, in recent years, the basic needs and guaranteed rights of North Carolinians have taken a backseat to the interests of politicians and their big donors. Specifically, they have spread distrust among North Carolinians while trading to their donors our excellent public schools, quality healthcare and natural resources for tax giveaways. The games at our expense have to stop. I now have the time and energy and the full support of my family and friends to serve and be a voice for common sense in our state legislature." Peterson is critical of current Republican legislative priorities: "Too many of our representatives ignored the governor’s request for $2.6 million in emergency funds for the Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Human Services to vigorously address GenX and other cancer-causing compounds that have been dumped into our river. Additionally, tax giveaways to corporate interests have been paid for through slashed budgets and staffing for the state agencies who could have been proactive in defending us from this poison in our water." He also wants to bring back the film industry, which the General Assembly essentially ran out of North Carolina in one of its budget bills.

In Senate District 41, Democrat Natasha Marcus raised $113,802.53 from 375 donors during the First Quarter, while the Republican incumbent Jeff Tarte raised $35,456.34 from 53 donors. In the Second Quarter, Tarte went ahead of Marcus by $7,300, but for the year Marcus is still ahead of Tarte. She has hundreds of donors. Tarte has far fewer, many of which are special interest PACs.
Democrat Natasha Marcus has been on my radar since early in February. She made an unsuccessful bid for the state House in her Cornelius neighborhood in 2014, when Republican John Bradford III defeated her 55 to 45 percent. “The policies that touch our lives most closely often come from the state level,” Marcus told WUNC. “Federal politics is important, but what happens at the General Assembly in Raleigh – from public school funding, to healthcare, to whether we’re going to have to pay tolls here in the North Mecklenburg area is also important." According to Ballotpedia, Marcus earned her B.A. in public policy from Hamilton College and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1994. Her professional experience includes working as a lawyer for Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard; as Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Frank W. Bullock, Jr. of the U.S. District Court in Greensboro; and as a founding member of DavidsonLearns, a non-profit providing senior citizen learning and enrichment. Marcus intends a fight for the seat: “Cuts to public pre-K through higher education, unconstitutional laws, politicians who put polluters over our clean air and water, policies that make healthcare more expensive and less accessible, and expensive toll lanes on I-77 have taken us backwards. Like many people in our community, I am fed up with being ignored by Raleigh Republicans and am ready to take a stand.”

Two of the candidates above -- Lisa Mathis and Cole Phelps -- are new to this blog. I've written about the others before and -- full disclosure -- I have cannibilized those earlier postings for the one above.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Terri LeGrand, Igniting in NC House District 74

NC House District 74 is a wrap-around. It packs itself into the northern nooks of Forsyth County and forms a vise around the urban core of Winston-Salem. It's reportedly 82.34% white. It nevertheless contains plenty of what gets defined as suburbia. It has a three-term Republican rep in the NC House, Debra Conrad, who is the kind of well groomed, country club Republican that Forsyth tends to elect and reelect over and over.

Then comes Democrat Terri LeGrand in 2018, just one of the large group of energized Democratic insurgents storming the Bastille of the Raleigh General Assembly. I wrote about LeGrand's prospects way back in March.

Terri LeGrand
How's she doing? You might say ... just fine! She's outraising Debra Conrad by a country mile. According to a press release from the LeGrand campaign, she raised $86,497 in the second quarter compared to $23,015 raised by Conrad. And she's gots boots on the ground, demonstrating once again that in 2018, newly minted Democratic candidates are out-raising, out-hustling, and out-door-knocking the matrix.

When I wrote about this race back in March, my impression of District 74 made it one of the hardest nuts to crack in this year's insurgency. Actual statistics soften that view (ht, KR): 18,616 Dem, 23,949 Reps, and 17,505 Unaffiliateds. In other words, and quite obviously, the winning margin for LeGrand in District 74 = the independents. Not to mention that when the Dems get energized, that 5 thousand voter-registration advantage of the Rs can deplenish itself quickly.

One cautionary note on LeGrand's fundraising superiority: We know from the Jonathan Jordan example in District 93 that outside groups -- third parties and super pacs -- always step in for their favored Republican incumbents. Jonathan Jordan is a lazy fundraiser, but his Dem opponent always seems to get plenty of nasty negative abuse. That'll likely be the same for LeGrand.

Bottomline this year: money is no advantage over enthusiasm anyway, and boots on the ground. Money's essential, but it's the army of volunteers who'll always take down the castle.

Phil Berger Looking for Something -- ANYTHING! -- To Use Against Jen Mangrum

Very obviously, NC Senate overlord Phil Berger -- or someone closely allied with him -- has hired the opposition research specialists at America Rising to dig up any dirt they can find on his Democratic challenger Jen Mangrum.

Mangrum just got reaffirmed as Berger's legitimate challenger by the state Board of Elections last Thursday, so Berger's team is upping its game.

America Rising was started by Mitt Romney's campaign manager after Romney's failed 2012 presidential run. It specializes in opposition research on Democrats its clients consider annoying. For example, it recently conducted research on career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency who had criticized Trump's policies and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's behavior.

Jen Mangrum got notice from the provost at UNC-Greensboro that the university has received a Freedom of Information Act request for a long list of documents relating to Mangrum's employment at the university. Can a demand for all her email be far behind?

You can rest assured that this is only the beginning of the fishing. Probably isn't even the beginning but somewhere in the middle.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

WataugaWatch's List of US Congressional, Statewide Races We're Following

This list is infinitely expandable and will be expanded as time passes before November:

Georgia ... Stacey Abrams
Oklahoma ... Drew Edmondson

Arizona ... Kyrsten Sinema, for Jeff Flake's seat
Mississippi ... David Barria, for Roger Wicker's seat
Mississippi ... Mike Espy, for Thad Cochran's seat (special election)
Tennessee ... Phil Bredesen, for Bob Corker's seat
Texas ... Beto O'Rourke, for Ted Cruz's seat


Mallory Hagan ... 3rd CD
James Lee Auman ... 4th CD

Gil Cisneros ... 39th CD
Mike Levin ... 49th CD

Donna Shalala ... 27th CD

Abby Finkenauer ... 1st CD
J. D. Scholten ... 4th CD

Paul Davis ... 2nd CD

Amy McGrath ... 6th CD

Kathleen Williams ... at large

New Jersey
Mikie Sherrill ... 11th CD

North Carolina
D. D. Adams ... 5th CD
Ryan Watts ... 6th CD
Kyle Horton ... 7th CD
Dan McCready ... 9th CD
Kathy Manning ... 13th CD

Danny O'Connor ... 12th CD

Scott Wallace ... 1st CD
Susan Wild ... 7th CD
Denny Wolff ... 9th CD
Conor Lamb ... 17th CD

South Carolina
Joe Cunningham ... 1st CD
Brandon Brown ... 4th CD
Archie Parnell ... 5th CD

Lizzie Pannill Fletcher ... 7th CD
Veronica Escobar ... 16th CD
M. J. Hegar ... 31st CD

Ben McAdams ... 4th CD

Elaine Luria ... 2nd CD
Leslie Cockburn ... 5th CD
Jennifer Lewis ... 6th CD
Abigail Spanberger ... 7th CD
Anthony Flaccavento ... 9th CD
Jennifer Wexton ... 10th CD

West Virginia
Richard Ojeda ... 3rd CD

Randy Bryce ... 1st CD

WataugaWatch's "2018 Candidates Worth Watching for #ncga"

In no particular order...

These are the Democratic candidates in NC House and Senate races that I've got my eye on in 2018. I call them the Democratic A Team. (Wanna make sumthin of it? Get your own list!) WataugaWatch has covered all of them -- you know how to search, top left corner above.

Gail Young in NC House District 83
Christy Clark in Dist. 98
Joe Fowler in Dist. 76
Steven Buccini in Dist. 59
Dan Besse in Dist. 75
Marcia Morgan in Dist. 19
Terence Everitt in Dist. 35
Brandon Lofton in Dist. 104
Rhonda Schandevel in Dist. 118
Joe Sam Queen in Dist. 119
Lowell Simon in Dist. 52
Ashton Clemmons in Dist. 57
Natasha Marcus in Dist. 41
Leslie Cohen in Dist. 20
Kandie Smith in Dist. 8
Sam Edney in Dist. 113
Rick Foulke in Dist. 68
Dan Whitten in Dist. 15
Darryl Moss in Dist. 2
Linda Bennett in Dist. 26
Erica McAdoo in Dist. 63
Wendy B. Sellers in Dist. 80
Wesley Harris in Dist. 105
Susan Maxon in Dist. 109
Albeiro Florez in Dist. 45

Ron Wesson in Dist. 1
Kim Bost in Dist. 96
Zack Hawkins in Dist. 31
James D. Gailliard in Dist. 25
Tess Judge in Dist. 6
Charles Dudley in Dist. 3
Sydney Batch in Dist. 37
Rachel Hunt in Dist. 103
Julie von Haefen in Dist. 36
Cathy von Hassel-Davies in Dist. 64
Ray Russell in Dist. 93
Barbara Yates-Lockamy in Dist. 46
David Brinkley in Dist. 111 (Tim Moore's seat)
Aimy Steele in Dist. 82
Terri LeGrand in Dist. 74
Martha Shafer in Dist. 62

Mack Paul in NC Senate District 18
Harper Peterson in Dist. 9
Eleanor Erickson in Dist. 8
Ginger Garner in Dist. 2
Helen Probst Mills in Dist. 25
Ric Vandett in Dist 42
Caroline Walker in Dist. 35
Sam Searcy in Dist. 17
Cheraton Love in Dist. 29
Bobby Kuppers in Dist. 50
Jen Mangrum in Dist. 30 (Phil Berger's seat) 
Wiley Nickel in Dist. 16
J. D. Wooten in Dist. 24
Michael K. Garrett in Dist. 27
Kirk DeViere in Dist. 19
Mujtaba Mohammed in Dist. 38
Ann Harlan in Dist. 39

The talent, commitment, and drive manifested above keeps me from despair, mandates my working harder and more efficiently, because our future is hanging by a thread.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Watch This One on August 7

Danny O'Connor in red shirt, canvassing.
Photo Maddie McGarvey, for the NYTimes

The 12th Congressional District of Ohio hasn't elected a Democrat since 1980.

A special election there for the US Congress is now rated a tossup by the Cook Political Report. The Democrat, Danny O'Connor, could be the next indication that the 2018 blue wave ain't no mirage.

Apparently, Democratic turn-out in early voting in heavily Republican areas bodes well. Early voting numbers always signal political energy -- who has the edge, which team can't wait to get in the game?

The Republican candidate for the open seat tries to paint O'Connor as a puppet of Nancy Pelosi, which hardly works at all any more, especially since O'Connor has already announced that he won't be voting for Pelosi as Speaker, should the Dems take control of the House.