Monday, March 05, 2012
We were surprised but not totally shocked, since we had been hearing for months -- through Caldwell County Democratic channels -- that the Republican Party in Caldwell was very dissatisfied with being added to Mr. Soucek's district and was looking for someone credible to challenge him in the primary. We didn't take those reports very seriously, thinking it unlikely that Caldwell would so noticeably step out of line.
Not only did they find a credible candidate. They found in George Robinson an A-List candidate with plenty of experience. Mr. Robinson was a member of the North Carolina House for two terms, 1980-86, 1988-96; he stepped down in 1986 to challenge Rep. Cass Ballenger in that year's Republican primary for the U.S. Congress, 10th District, which of course he didn't win, but he's a man who clearly doesn't mind challenging the status quo.
Hmmm. The Caldwell County Republican establishment is trying to take out Dan Soucek.
And here's the thing: Caldwell County is now the population center of the newly drawn 45th senatorial district. Caldwell County alone accounts for 45% of the voters in the new district. Soucek has been a weak fundraiser: he currently, in his last finance filing with the State Board of Elections, reported about $20,000 on hand. Robinson will no doubt be able to raise big money. He's a businessman, he's tied in to Chamber of Commerce types, he's a known prestige candidate.
The open question awaiting an answer: how will Soucek's millionaire backers down-state, the ones who won the seat for him in 2010 by trashing the reputation of a good man and who have told Soucek how to vote for the past year -- will those Big Money-Bags come rushing to Soucek's primary-endangered future in the NC General Assembly? Or will they sit it out and wait to see who survives (seeing as how they're philosophically aligned with the "survival-of-the-fittest" social Darwinism of the 1920s).
Dan Soucek may turn out to be a one-termer.