Tuesday, December 19, 2023

How To Run As a Loser in a Blood Red District


Kate Compton Barr is the brand spanking new Democratic candidate for Senate District 37, and I like her style. First heard about her on Joe Bruno's Twitter feed, an article headlined "‘Clear eyes, full heart, can’t win’: Why Kate Barr is running anyway." Watched her intro video on Instagram. She's a bright light -- a heavily credentialed behavior scientist, mother of two, volunteer everything, but also a force of nature in business, founding a start-up called "Pip and Grow," a high-end catalog of "elegant, eco-conscious products expertly designed to keep your child safe." Linked In:

As the owner of a start-up, Kate is involved in nearly every aspect of running the business - from corporate strategy to customer service. Not only is she in charge of logistics and inventory management, but she also handles company finances and pricing models. Kate is the primary content creator for the Pip & Grow blog and contributes to social media messaging. She also works in partnership with her co-founders to create and maintain influencer, media, and customer relationships.

The company garnered national attention winning both Outstanding Small Business and Retail Small Business at the 2018 SCORE Awards, an NC IDEA Seed grant in November of 2019, and Charlotte's Social Impact Inno on Fire Award in January 2020. Kate’s business journey has been widely documented in publications including Forbes and MSN.

According to Linked In, her control of Pip & Grow ended last April, and she's now running for the NC Senate out of principle -- people ought to have a choice -- in a gerrymandered district that is 62.3% Republican. She's a self-knowing sacrifice, and strategic about it. That motto, "Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can't Win," a brilliant piece of marketing. Instead of a terrible burden of marching to electoral execution -- dead candidate walking -- Kate Barr might be having the time of her life (and she actually could gather a movement of self-conscious parodists: "Get in losers, we’re (not) going to the Senate! #getinlosers #katebarrcantwin." Jokes can become movements. Yes they can. That's my theory.)

Kate Barr's shorthand Twitter bio: "Dem for NC Senate District 37. Gerrymandered out of a chance. F*ck it. I’m running anyway .... let’s raise a little hell and have some fun anyway."

Website: https://www.katebarrcantwin.com/

The Republican Incumbent

Vicki Sawyer was said to have played a role in keeping the Republican caucus from going even more whole-hog extreme on abortion -- which is why we got a 12-week ban instead of a six. I called her "moderate" when she first ran in 2018 (and beat the blustery Bob Rucho in that year's primary):

Member of the Iredell County Planning Board and treasurer of the Iredell County Republican Party. Sawyer and her husband own Sawyer Insurance & Financial Services in Mooresville. She seems civic -- served on the Iredell County School Facilities Task Force, co-chaired the successful 2014 school bond referendum committee, and has been president of Lakeshore Elementary and Middle School Parent Teacher Organizations. She is a Methodist.

Sawyer's now serving her 3rd Senate term (but in three different districts, because of the repeated attempts among her brethren to harvest, then prune, then harvest again the succulent fruits of gerrymandering). 


O Suzannah said...

Kate Barr is brilliant! She should be an inspiration to every sacrifice Democrat running in a red gerrymandered district, because rallying votes in a losing local race helps pump up the Democratic vote for statewide races, including governor and attorney general, not to mention president. You should have titled this piece "Winning By Losing."

J.W. Williamson said...

You're right, O Suzannah. "Winning By Losing" is a better title and gets at the point much more efficiently. Thanks.