Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Wray of All Flesh


Rodney Pierce and Michael Wray

Conservative Democrat Michael H. Wray had a good 20 years legislating in Raleigh before he was taken out in the March primary by Rodney Pierce (profiled here back in February). After the recount, Wray lost his seat by a mere 34 votes. Pierce will be going to Raleigh next January because there is no Republican candidate. It's a safe Democratic House district, and Wray often had no Republican challenger in his reelections though he often had Democratic primary challengers. Rodney Pierce finally had the juice to beat him.

He was unpopular among Democrats for being so popular with the Republican majority in the House. He was said to vote with the Republicans over 80% of the time, most notoriously for Dan Bishop's hated "Bathroom Bill" and more recently for the last Republican budget, choosing to override Gov. Cooper's veto.

He was and is a nice man, people say, at a time that Democrats needed a little more steel in tribal spines. Wray was sweet enough to Republicans that Speaker Tim Moore elevated him to a senior chairmanship on the powerful House Finance Committee way back at the start of the current session in January 2023. Moore was trying to woo Wray to change parties. Moore also wooed Tricia Cotham, who obligingly tumbled in April 2023.

No one said it was illegal to turn your coat. But there are consequences, especially among those who made the coat and expected you to wear it with the right side out.

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