Monday, November 06, 2023

Rumble in the 14th: The Tim Moore-Pat Harrigan Primary


I think it’s going to be a nasty primary. I would be shocked if Harrigan does not continue to hit Moore and hit him hard. What I don’t know is what Moore’s reaction is going to be.”
--WCU Political Scientist Chris Cooper


Last Friday I was tickled to publish Pat Harrigan's attack on Speaker Tim Moore's entry into the Republican primary in the newly drawn, heavily Republican 14th Congressional District. I couldn't guess at the time the response that attack got in yesterday's headline by Danielle Battaglia in the News&Observer: "23 minutes passed before Speaker Tim Moore’s race for Congress turned ugly. What now?"

Harrigan's attack is considered "ugly"? Because the facts behind it are also ugly? Harrigan put a hard finger right on the bruize: Moore's corruption, including the domestic corruption of the marriage vows, is a matter of character. Harrigan out-and-out suggests that Moore has none. 

Battaglia reminded me that Harrigan's race in 2022 against Jeff Jackson in the previous 14th also turned "vitriolic," with Jackson landing the sharper blows and Harrigan complaining in the media. He's not going to take anything sitting down, plus he was clearly ready for the arrival of Tim Moore. According to Battaglia, Harrigan published his attack on Moore only 23 minutes after Moore's announcement (or his strategist Paul Shumaker's statement, since it was actually Shumaker who made the news that day. Moore plans a big campaign public launch next week).

True to the ethos that money is the only god, Moore's staged "soft launch" last Friday in Gaston County involved the ostentatious presentation of a giant check to Gaston Community College. Sharing the goodies is a good ole boy's signature.

Republican operative Paul Shumaker got to announce that Moore is indeed running for Congress, so it only makes sense that Shumaker also responded to the Harrigan attack -- with superior condescension: “My experience, which is a little bit more extensive in this than most people in politics, is that those who are behind and those that are desperate, tend to be the ones who lash out first.” No shit. We'll see if Harrigan is willing to go whole hog on Moore, who's actually a big, fat, self-satisfied sitting duck.

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