Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 North Carolina Congressional Races--Lay of the Land

Keep in mind that filing for office in 2018 doesn't end until the last day of February, so there will be flux to come in the races below, both primaries and -- hence -- general elections.

District 1
Incumbent Democrat G.K. Butterfield [safe]
Solid Democratic district.

District 2
Incumbent Republican George Holding [?]
Holding already has a primary opponent and a wave of Democrats who want to take him on. The Cook people put Holding in the "Competitive Races" category, but leaning Republican decidedly.
Allen Chesser, his Republican primary opponent, attacks Holding for not holding town halls (ping Virginia Foxx). He doesn't return phone calls. He ignores his constituents. He's never accessible. Chesser is a younger Iraq war veteran and a pretty standard foot-soldier for conservative talking points. He's a Steve Bannon wet dream, is what he is.
Sam Searcy
The Democratic primary could get even more interesting with the entry of Linda Coleman, a high-profile African American public servant and former candidate who ran twice statewide for lieutenant governor. She'll get big backing and can raise money. But the district is 74% white. Dunno if that means anything necessarily, not in a wave year.
The entry of Coleman may have persuaded ASU alum Sam Searcy, who had previously announced for the seat and was raising money, to drop out and run for an NC Senate seat instead. (Searcy has become an entrepreneur businessman and a manufacturer of a local brand of Vodka, and he might beat Tamara Barringer, the incumbent Republican state senator. He looks like a wave candidate to us.)
Other Democrats running in the 2018 primary: businessman Ken Romley and transgender veteran Wendy Ella May. (Scoff not. Remember what happened recently in Virginia?) "Romley, 52, was the CEO of Zift Solutions, a marketing software company based in Cary that employs about 200 people, until he stepped down last month to run for office."

District 3
Incumbent Republican Walter Jones [safe]
Solid Republican district. Jones, a total fuck-you maverick and hence admirable in doses, is safe unless he gets knocked off in a primary, of which there will certainly be one. Put your money on Jones.

District 4
Incumbent Democrat David Price [safe]
Richard Watkins
David Price will have a loser Republican opponent in November (whichever of at least two candidates wins the Republican primary), but he'll have his own primary too.
Richard Watkins, a young African American Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, is challenging Price. Looks like a generational contest to me, and a potentially important one. Watkins probably can't beat David Price, but I'm glad he might be a once and future candidate. We need more young scientists on the ballot.

District 5
Incumbent Republican Virginia Foxx [safe]
Yuck. The consensus is always "she can't be beat." Anyone can be beat. Anything can happen in a wave.
Two Democrats, both impressive women, are vying in the primary to take Foxx on next November. We'll know come middle of May who the candidate will be.

District 6
Incumbent Republican Mark Walker [safe]
The district is solid Republican, but there's a small gaggle of Democrats massing to challenge Walker. Walker is a charismatic Baptist preacher and the slayer of Phil Berger Jr. in the Republican primary of  2014, for which he will always be memorialized.

District 7
Incumbent Republican David Rouzer [safe]
Rated solid Republican district.
Jonah Gardner
Two Democrats so far have gotten in the race. Dr. Kyle Horton, an internal medicine doctor and a woman, announced way back in May, followed in June by Jonah Gardner, a computer programmer and IT professional. This 2018 crop of young activists of both sexes (thank you, Donald J. Trump!) inspires new confidence and old hope.

District 8
Incumbent Republican Richard Hudson [safe]
Solid Republican district (but it's a lot of suburbs, bro, and the suburbs is where the turn will come). No considerable Democrat has stepped forward yet.

District 9
Incumbent Republican Robert Pittenger [?]
Cook calls this district competitive but "likely Republican" (a moment which may be slipping away).
Pittenger may not make it through his primary with Baptist firebrand Mark Harris (who knows a special place in hell for those who disagree with the Lord him and who almost beat Pittenger in the primary of 2016).
Dan McCready
On the Democratic side: Front-runner Dan McCready, along with Christian Cano, who ran for the seat in 2016,  and Maria Warren, an attorney, will face off in May. All the smart money's on McCready, who could beat Pittenger and will beat Rev. Harris, should he prevail in the primary.

District 10
Incumbent Republican Patrick McHenry [safe]
Despite being high up in leadership in Congress, McHenry usually draws a primary opponent, and 2018 will be no different. But he also hasn't drawn a stand-out Democrat yet.

District 11
Incumbent Republican Mark Meadows [safe]
Meadows has made a name for himself in Washington as The Man Who Shut Down Government in 2013, a badge he wears happily among the conservative voters of the 11th District and unhappily among the Republican leadership in Washington. He's a pain in the ass tool of ALEC.
Meadows has a dark horse Republican by the name of Christopher Money running against him in a primary.
For awhile two Democrats wanted to run against Meadows. Matt Coffay, a leader in the Asheville chapter of Our Revolution, got into the race with a splash back in April but pulled out in July. Scott Donaldson announced in September. He's a 53-year-old urologist from Hendersonville who has made "a name for himself in certain circles with a series of YouTube videos, radio show appearances and even a published book."

District 12
Incumbent Democrat Alma Adams [safe]
Safe Democratic seat. But Adams does have one Republican announced against her. Yawn.

District 13
Incumbent Republican Tedd Budd [?]
Cook rates this district "competitive" but "likely Republican." Democrats are massing to challenge
Adam Coker
the relatively indistinctive Budd.

Adam Coker also ran for this seat in 2016 in a crowded field but lost the primary. His big issue is health insurance and he wants to win by getting Republicans to vote for him (a fool's errand). His Democratic opponents include Kathy Manning, "a former immigration lawyer who is well known in her district for her philanthropy," and Beniah McMiller, a 36-year-old African American teacher at Mitchell Community College in Statesville.

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