Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A Difficult Wake County District To Flip Blue


Erin Pare

The Wake County House District 37 presents a tangled possibility for a red-to-blue flip this year. The Republican incumbent, Erin Pare, won the seat in 2020 by ousting Democrat Sydney Batch, one of the Blue Wave stars of 2018. Pare is now up against a Democratic woman, Christine Kelly, who's an accomplished professional but also a lightning rod for controversy in the burgeoning suburban town of Holly Springs, which is about 20 miles southwest of Raleigh. Kelly has made some enemies, which could be fatal to her chances to take the seat.

It's risky to unpack the issues and personalities in town battles, especially battles over growth and development, when you don't live there or anywhere near there, but I certainly recognize the eruptive pressures that build when a growing town appears to grow too fast and with too little control. Christine Kelly was at the center of a battle over growth in Holly Springs, and from what I can divine from newspaper accounts, I would probably have been on her side in the controversy, complaining about a city council that made too many decisions without adequate citizen participation. 

Kelly filed an official ethics complaint against members of the Holly Springs Town Council. There's video of Kelly arguing with those town council members. I don't know enough of the background to judge the accuracy of anything, but I was impressed that she was a calm and reasonable voice, while the town council members sparring with her come off as intolerant, defensive, and arrogant. I've also listened to Kelly's appearance on the Holly Springs Deep Dive podcast from last October. She comes across as reasoned and reasonable and as "Canadian nice," because she was born in Canada and only became an American citizen less than a decade ago.

Christine Kelly

Her activism for slower growth and more planning, for more local government transparency, led her to run for Holly Spring Town Council in 2017. She was top vote-getter. But last fall, she attempted to move up to mayor and was soundly defeated, which suggests that her activism wasn't wearing well with the voters.

In the May primary against two other Democratic candidates, Kelly edged out runner-up Elizabeth Parent by only 64 votes, and so much now depends on unifying the Democratic Party, getting volunteers on the ground, and driving turn-out. I wish I felt better about Christine Kelly's chances.


J.W. Williamson said...

Forgot to mention how Dave's Redistricting rates HD37: 46% Democrat v. 51.2% Republican. Not encouraging. But a good candidate with plenty of enthusiastic support could ... oh, never mind.

Wolf's Head said...

Ok, all I get from this blog is repubs bad, dems good. Fine, it's your blog.

But, just suppose all of your political fantasies come true, and democrats win big in November, unseating many repub opponents.

Then what?

Just what do you expect, or demand, a democrat controlled Washington and Raleigh to do?

You have control of Washington now, and even leftist polls are showing the people don't want what you lefties are doing.

“Today’s NYT/Sienna poll pegs the national right/wrong track number at a staggering (13/77),” Townhall’s Guy Benson tweeted. That's from Monday's NYT poll.

So, just what are you going to do if you get MORE democrats in office?

J.W. Williamson said...

"You have control of Washington now." Ha!

You are coming from such a delusional premise that I won't waste my time making a list for you to troll.

The Republican Party is under the thumb of an authoritarian greed-head. Therefore, I do not want more Republicans in office. I want more Democrats, so I can be infuriated by their indecision, their lack of unity, their inability to reach agreement and move forward.

Wolf's Head said...

So, you want more dems for you to be frustrated at?

That's not helping the country or its people.

If the dems are going to do nothing but bicker, why vote for them?

People are looking for solutions to their problems, not party one-upmanship.