Monday, September 30, 2019

Nicole Quick Has Announced for the 59th NC House District

Jon Hardister, Republican Whip,
NC House
Jon Hardister, the majority Republican whip in the NC House, appears to have been a prime operative in the veto override ambush pulled off by Speaker Tim Moore early on the morning of September 11.

Remember the drill? Republican leadership passed the word to the Democratic minority that no votes would be taken that Wednesday morning. It was the 18th anniversary of 9/11, after all, and at least some Democratic members planned to be at official remembrances. But what those too trustful Democrats didn't know was that Whip Jon Hardister was secretly texting Republican members to "be in your seat at 8:30." To motivate them more, Hardister alleged that maybe Democrats were going to try to pull a fast one with some motion about redistricting, and Republican members better be ready.


Hardister could -- and subsequently did -- rationalize his text message to his troops -- I'm paraphrasing but this is the gist of his cover-story: "As Republican whip, I must routinely remind my forgetful colleagues to be in attendance" -- while Hardister refused to admit there was any ruse involved. He won't produce the actual text he sent to fellow Republicans, though he did confirm to the News and Observer reporter that he warned that the Democrats might try something subversive about redistricting.

The Republicans knew -- and have known -- that they couldn't override Governor Cooper's veto of their budget except by deception. By infernal hook or by crook. Representative Hardister was both a hook and smug little crook when all was said and done.

Hardister Now Has an Announced Democratic Opponent

Nicole Quick speaks at her kick-off
on Sunday, Sept. 22
Nicole Quick, currently the chair of the Guilford County Democrats, quietly launched her campaign for the District 59 NC House seat a week ago with a private fundraiser in Greensboro. I say "quietly" because the mainstream media has taken no notice of her yet, but House Democratic Minority Leader Darren Jackson attended and so did Democratic freshman Ashton Clemmons from the neighboring 57th District. Also attending was Democratic freshman Senator Michael Garrett of the 27th Senatorial District in Guilford and Senator Gladys Robinson, also of Guilford. Garrett became a star in 2018 by defeating incumbent bete noir Trudy Wade.

Just from that evidence alone -- pretty much every elected Democrat in Guilford County attended the Quick kick-off to show support -- we might say that Nicole Quick has been recruited, or if not directly recruited, certainly nurtured.

She does have a website (well fleshed-out, so she's been planning this for some time), no campaign video yet, but she does have a Facebook page with a lengthy biography attached. She also feeds the Twitter beast, and I like that in a candidate.

What she needs: A robust field program, with aggressive field organizers who won't wait for door-knocking volunteers to appear via the website but who will hit the phones and recruit troops on the ground. For that, she'll also need comprehensive data and data managers who can turn up those high-scoring Democrats in District 59, some of whom have never volunteered for a campaign before but who will be unusually energized in 2020 because of the threat of another four years of Twitterman.

I must point out here that Jon Hardister is a popular incumbent Republican. He took almost 57% of the vote in 2018. After the most recent remapping of NC House districts, District 59 still has a 54.20% predicted Republican vote share. Michael Bitzer lists the new 59th as "Lean Republican" but also "competitive." It's that last word that can send tingles down the spine. But competition also means "a hell of a lot of work!" Hope she has a campaign manager and a good bench of support staff, whether paid or volunteer.

Can Nicole Quick do it? Dunno. But I'm watching from the mountains.

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