Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Continuing Fallout From the Sudden Retirement of Rep. David Lewis (HD53)

Republican powerbroker and chair of the powerful Rules Committee in the NC House suddenly and unexpectedly announced his retirement a couple of weeks ago, and the Republican bosses in Harnett County just last night named his replacement on the November ballot, Harnett County Commissioner Howard Penny Jr.

Not much can be shown about Howard Penny Jr. yet, but we do know he was elected to a seat on the Harnett School Board in 2014, then ran and won a seat on the Harnett County Commission in 2016 and resigned his school board seat. He filed last December for a second term on the county commission but lost in the Republican primary in March by 14 votes. So he's serving out his term on the commission as a lame duck, and the party bosses obviously thought he could make a good showing as a replacement for David Lewis. That remains to be seen.

Sally Weeks Benson
Apparently, Maggie Sandrock, a pretty well known conservative and chair of the Harnett County Republican Party, wanted the ballot spot herself and lost out to the milder mannered Penny. Is there dyspepsia in Harnett GOP ranks this morning?

Penny will be up against Democrat Sally Weeks Benson, a retired veteran of the Navy, whose prospects perhaps just got brighter. (I'm waiting for someone who knows the politics in Harnett County to let me know that.)

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