Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Wheeler-Marcus Primary for Secretary of Insurance



I first knew David Wheeler in 2018 as a candidate for Ralph Hise's Senate seat in SD 47. From the beginning, Wheeler wasn't afraid of being obnoxious. He famously invaded the premises of the Word of Faith Church in Rutherford County, asking questions with a camera rolling about allegations of cult-like control inside the church. He got ushered out. It was a political stunt that in hindsight probably didn't yield a bunch of votes but it made him visible for a time. I noticed him.

Wheeler lost to Hise in 2018 by 26 points, ran again against Hise in 2020 and lost by 37 points.

Wheeler's most famous obnoxiousness came in his year's long crusade that helped bring down Madison Cawthorn. With former Congressional candidate Moe Davis, the Democrat that Cawthorn beat in his initial race, Wheeler founded the American Muckrakers PAC specifically to go after Madison Cawthorn. And they did, releasing all sorts of damaging evidence of Cawthorn's juvenilia including a controversial video of Cawthorn cavorting naked with his cousin in bed. 

After Wheeler nailed Cawthorn's pelt to his barndoor, he turned his PAC on Lauren Boebert (timeline here) and is still in a Colorado court suing her for defamation.

Natasha Marcus

Wheeler announced months ago that he was a candidate for NC Commissioner of Insurance. A couple of days ago, Wheeler revealed on Twitter that Josh Stein had recruited ex-Senator Natasha Marcus to run for that office, and because of that, Wheeler would be removing himself from the ballot. An act of chivalry or a recognition that with establishment support Marcus would likely defeat him. 

With that news that he would drop out and clear the field for Marcus, many Democrats breathed a sigh, maybe of relief, to avoid a race that might get destructively mean. (The Republican incumbent, Mike Causey, has been my favorite Republican on the Council of State because he turned in those who offered him a bribe to favor one particularly shady insurance provider, Greg Lindberg. Causey wore a wire which sent Robin Hayes to jail.)

Just yesterday, and via Anderson Alerts, we learn that Wheeler has done a 180 and has decided that he'll stay in the race after all. In the explanation that Anderson prints, Wheeler is not shy is playing rough with Marcus. In a statement released by Wheeler, he lives up to his reputation as a pusher-and-shover:

“Marcus's self entitlement to this nomination is astounding,” Wheeler said. “One day she's running for the Senate, the next day it's DOI [Department of Insurance]. She clearly saw how I am going to beat Mike Causey and thought she'd be the ‘savior’ of the race. Not happening. I'm going to beat her and Causey to a pulp at the polls.”

Wheeler also took aim at Marcus’ background, referencing her time at Hamilton College in New York and subsequent legal work.

“I'm not a lawyer,” Wheeler said. “Does Raleigh really need another lawyer? I don't have New York roots and New York money. I'm a single dad of three kids of color and grew up in a rural town with farmers and wrestlers. I've worked for myself since I was 22 years old and didn't take a paycheck many times in order to ensure my employees were looked after when cash wasn't flowing. I'm not rich. But I do know the difference between right and wrong. Rate Hike Mike is wrong for North Carolina [and] must go in 2024. My Democratic opponent from Charlotte can't beat him.”

So that's a primary few people would want to celebrate. 

No comments: