Friday, April 08, 2022

For Trump-Boy Bo Hines, First, It Was Virginia Foxx


In 2020 Bo Hines, a once-upon-a-time NCSU football star (for one season) but in 2020 an aspiring student in the Wake Forest School of Law, must have watched the fulminating rise of Madison Cawthorn with some envy and said to himself, "I could do that too!" Because, actually he's several centiles smarter than Cawthorn, and knows it. Subsequently, because he's so smart, he hopscotched all over North Carolina looking for just the right congressional district where he could wow 'em with his hard-edged Trumpist ventriloquism and Cawthorn good looks, and he finally landed his candidacy in the new, newer, newest CD13, about 200 miles from his Winston-Salem residence. Make no mistake: He has not only the time-stamp of Trump but also the explicit and florid endorsement of Trump. Just look at the graphics on both his Facebook and his Twitter pages. We also note just in passing and by way of essential taxonomy, he's a hang-out-with-Matt-Gaetz type of guy.

That's the 13th CD in bright green, southern Wake, Johnston, and parts of Harnett and Wayne

But First, He Was Running Against Virginia Foxx

He launched what promised to be a delicious primary campaign against Foxx in January 2021 with a video posted to his Twitter and Facebook. His criticism of Foxx, more implied than explicitly stated, was that she had mainly made herself rich in Congress and had done little for her constituents other than the disaster of a pork-barrel teapot museum which didn't come about. Ouch. His condo in Winston-Salem was not in Foxx's 5th CD at the time (but Hines has never let actual residence stand in the way of his ambition).

Bo Hines made a publicized visit with Young Republicans at AppState in April 2021, campaigning against Foxx obviously, and almost immediately -- and to our amazement -- Foxx announced that Madison Cawthorn had endorsed her for reelection ... herself, Virginia Foxx, the 70-something battle-axe who can cry on cue and not the 20-something fellow aggressive male conservative that you might think Cawthorn would gravitate to. (Cawthorn did later develop a political crush on Hines, but in April of 2021, Foxx got to him first.)

By the first week of May 2021, Hines had reconsidered. Maybe it wasn't wise to challenge a fellow Republican incumbent. He had looked around. Ted Budd was stepping down from his 13th CD seat to run for the Senate, so that open district (which also didn't include Hines's condo) looked more ripe for the taking. On May 8th, 2021, Dallas Woodhouse reported that Hines was moving his candidacy to the old 13th, which still at that time looked like this (it's the one in gray, gerrymandered for Ted Budd):

Woodhouse was not critical of Hines in his reporting. He became very critical of Cawthorn.

Bo Hines, Opportunist

Between the congressional map of North Carolina's 13 Congressional districts we used in 2020 (the map immediately above) and the eventual court-ordered map we're now functioning under (seen at the top of this column), the Republican overlords in the NC General Assembly arrived at their own redraw-of-infamy early in December of 2021, which landed with a thud and looked like this below (infamous for the Foxx finger into Watauga) and would become Hines's new playground for district shopping:

Most of the 13th CD where Hines had newly announced had now become a new 7th CD (in bright yellow above), so Bo Hines was mulling what to do and so was Mark Walker, who was also considering changing his plans for the US Senate for a run in the 7th to get back into Congress. Meanwhile, the Club for Growth endorsed Hines for whatever district he chose to run in (not kidding), and Trump came calling, promising to endorse Hines if he'd pick the 4th CD instead and leave the 7th open for Walker (in order to get Walker out of the way for Ted Budd's race for the Senate). The 4th CD, where Trump and incidentally Cawthorn both wanted Hines to land, was farther east yet from Hines's residence.

Law suits and judgments ensued. The map at the top of this column became law, and Hines chose the new 13th, for rationales and consideration (and math?) we may never know. But Hines becomes a featured speaker (and Trump-blessed candidate) at Trump's rally tomorrow in Johnston County in the heart of the new 13th, an anointing that some think will propel Hines past Renee Ellmers (also trying to get back into Congress), his chief rival in an 8-candidate primary.

But the Trump blessing has not papered over Hines's carpetbag for all the Republicans in the new 13th. The Johnston County Republican Men's Club has come out against Hines, and perhaps other Republican  voters are noticing how far from home the boy has roamed.

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