2010 Senate Democractic Primary

Since this area plays such a strong role in the democratic politics/ideals in this state, & since one of our own might join the race, I think this will be an interesting topic for discussion.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
vs Durham Lawyer Kenneth Lewis vs Captain in the United States Army Reserve & former State Senator Cal Cunningham vs Mayor Kevin Foy

vs vs vs


Here is some more background on the candidates:

N&O profiles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Foy  (I couldn't find an N&O profile for Foy so I just used a wiki page, although ppl on this blog are probably most familiar w/ him already)
http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/foy_still_thinking (& here is a story about him still thinking about it in which he "hopes to decide by the end of the month"

Facebook groups/fanpages
Elaine Marshall: http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=101700230921
Kenneth Lewis: http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Kenneth-Lewis/97128081749
Cal Cunningham: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106543775883 


Whoever wins this primary will be up against Republican incumbant Senator Richard Burr.  This is the same Burr who suggested to his family to do a bank-run when the economy got tight, the same Burr who stood against Tammy Duckworth's attempts to help veterans, the same Burr who thinks domestic abuse should count as a pre-existing health condition whereby you ought to be denied insurance coverage, and the same Burr that voted against an anti-rape amendment, the same Burr who supports a a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and the same Burr who is anti-choice.

I am hoping for a field of candidates that create some buzz about the primary and have strong issue focused debates wherein candidates don't tear each other down, and instead explain whey they'd be better than Burr.  I think this will help with name recognition which is key in taking down an incumbant.  I think right now is a particularly interesting time to look at this primary, because now is when candidates decide if they are in or out.  Marshall & Lewis are definitely in.  Cunningham is out at the momemt but may rejoin soon, and Foy is hoping to make a decision by the end of the month.

Who do you think can win in the primary, who do you think can win against Burr, who are you pulling for, and why?  What issues do you hope to hear them address?



...on LGBT equality.I decided to make this a seperate post, because I want this to be a discussion of all the issues and not to highlight a particular one over another.  This issue however is important to me, as it affects my day to day life as a citizen very directly (& I could more often rely on eithers to ask questions relating to the economy & the environment), and so I have sought out answers about this from various candidates.  In the past I've had to "corner" candidates at public events and ask them these sorts of questions.  But in this case all of the ones I have asked have responded to me in an online format which I think is telling in regards to how much this state has changed.  Anyone who remembers Dole's attempts to paint Hagan as a gay marriage loving atheist knows how much that backfired. Here are their answers (in some cases depending on the format I got into specifics like ENDA, DADT, DOMA & in others it was a more general question on lgbt equality - I was trying to both educate these potential legislators while asking them questions)  Secretary of State Elaine Marshall

Jake asked about equality issues. I oppose discrimination, support
abolishing DADT (if people will serve, we should honor them. Period),
oppose DOMA because I don't believe this is the duty of the Federal
government and believe it puts the Full Faith and Credit concept in
jeopardy, and support the concept of ENDA as described by Jake.

Durham Lawyer Kenneth Lewis

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?I’m a firm believer that we should not discriminate against people.
That’s part of my core belief structure. We have men and women of all
sexual orientations serving in the military. The idea that we would
remove an officer or anyone because of his or her sexual orientation is
abhorrent to me.Employee Non-Discrimination Act?I have not read the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, but I will repeat
that I do not believe we should discriminate against people because of
their sexual orientation.Civil Marriage?I understand people and their religious beliefs and I respect that very
much and I would not want to do anything that infringes upon someone
exercising their religion, but with respect to government actions and
as a society of people who have a variety of faiths and non-faiths, I
do not believe we should discriminate.

Captain in the United States Army Reserve & former State Senator Cal Cunningham

I'm pro-equality, from fighting to include orientation in the the non
discrimination policy of the University back in 1994 to fighting to
include trans-gender in 1996, to being for domestic partnerships from
the swing State Senate district in 2000, to being in favor of ending
DADT (and refusing to chapter anyone out of the Army for allegations
while the senior-most prosecutor in Iraq), to supporting the ENDA, etc.

I think Kevin not only would make a great Senator, but may have the best chance of defeating Burr. He would be an excellent campaigner.

I keep hearing people dismiss him as a "Chapel Hill Democrat"Like, "oh he'd be great, but he's a Chapel Hill Democrat" and then move on to talking about the other candidates.Why is this perception so?  What is so wrong with being a Democrat from Chapel Hill.  Perhaps I should first ask, is this perception so, or do I need to widen my net.If he does jump into it, I would like to see him do a BlueNC live-blog event, get a facebook group going, get a profile up on the N&O, get a campaign website up, and so forth which most of the other candidates already have.For my money, 4 candidates during the primary raises more awareness about the challenges to Senator Burr than could 2 or 3, and so I hope he does jump in.   I guess we'll know soon enough with only a little over a week left until the expected decision time.

Maybe the same people who call Kevin Foy a Chapel Hill democrat dismiss Kenneth Lewis as a Durham lawyer. 

Voters are generally looking to move beyond the "gutter-ball" politics that we are mired in. (Today's N&O had a blurb about Marshall sending out find-raising solicitations to a list including a multitude of corporate lobbyists.) Kevin could really tap into that sentiment.

It was an e-mail to everyone asking for $18 on her birthday on the 18th. What are your thoughts as to whether Foy will actually run or not?  And what can be done to encourage him to run?

The reason that people write off someone as a "CH Democrat" is that although CH is a left town in general, which isn't a big deal, the most politically active segment of CH are farther left and since only 15% of CHers vote, those people have a larger say in who gets into office.  So, as a candidate for mayor of CH, your choices are (1) agree with and/or cater to the segment of the population that votes, or (2) lose.  Kevin Foy won several times.  But the segment that votes here is much different than the voters in the state at large. Ask yourself this question.  Of the people that voted for CH mayor last month, what percentage do you think voted for Obama last year?  Next, compare that to the 49.7% that voted for Obama statewide.  The point is, the people that vote for mayor in CH (which is always in off-year elections that consequently doesn't bring out people interested in voting for President or Senator) are much different than those that vote for US Senator, especially if we're talking about a general election instead of a Democratic primary.  

Chapel Hill has a history of progressive policy-making. Many policies that Chapel Hill has adopted are emulated and later adopted by other municipalities. Their affordable housing model has attracted interest across the Southeast. Chapel Hill was awarded first place for the City Livability Award during the 2009 Mayors' City Livability Awards Program. The free transit program has been much admired. Energy efficiency policies were adopted many years before even the utilities began to tout energy efficiency as an important strategy.Our society is in a state of crisis and there is an understanding that we need to change the way we do a lot of things. Kevin Foy's experience with these successful progressive policies puts him at the forefront of those running.

President Obama.  My guess is a lot of people in this area voted for him, but since he also won the state I'm not sure that is a great example of how the voters preferences here are out of line with the rest of the state, if that was the point you were trying to make.  But I may be misunderstanding what you're saying there.

My point is as follows, using numbers that may not be exactly right but I'm  using it to make the larger point.  Obama won NC about 50-49.  But how bad did he win in CH/C?  Say it's 63-37.  Next, amongst the voters in CH/C mayor and TC elections in 2007 or 2009, how badly did Obama win?  I mean, when those 2007 or 2009 voters voted for President in 2008?  Do you think it was greater than 63-37 for Obama or less than that?  I think it was greater.  A Presidential election brings out a wider spectrum of people.  An election with only local offices on the ballot tends to bring out the more dedicated voters and they are more likely to be to one side or the other, which in the case of CH/C means more left.What I'm saying is that voters in CH/C in general are more left than voters in NC as a whole, and voters in CH/C local elections are more left than voters in CH/C in general.   So the voters that local candidates have to appeal to are way more left than voters in NC as a whole.

after I made an edit?

that Chapel Hill leans left of most cities in NC.But I am also under the impression that presidential elections tend to draw a higher percentage of younger voters than do local elections for most towns, and thus bigger elections tend to lean a little more left.  I'm not sure if that holds for senate elections as the top of the ticket.I was chatting with Equality NC's exexutive director the other day on facebook and he repeated a notion I've heard many times on lgbt blogs.  That it is safer to try to repeal prop 8 in 2012 than 2010 because an off year election will draw a more conservative crowd.  And for people talking about the lose of marriage equality in Maine they say things like "and we came so close despite the fact that it was an off year vote"

Here's what the presidential vote by town looks like :Orange County totalObama  53,086  71.83%McCain  20,266  27.05%Barr            522    0.70%Write-In     316   0.42% ==========Chapel Hill 19 precincts (includes all precincts wholly or partly in Chapel Hill IN ORANGE COUNTY except Patterson. Excludes Durham County precincts as they are heavily in unincorporated area and also have more Durham city than Chapel Hill town voters.)Obama 25,075    78.95%McCain  6,320     19.90%Barr          239        0.75%Write-In   128         0.40%===============Carrboro  8 precincts (includes all precincts wholly or partly Carrboro)Obama 12,000   83.53%McCain  2,206     15.36%Barr           83         0.57%Write-In     77       0.54% ============Remainder of Orange CountyObama 16,011  57.05%McCain  11,740  41.83%Barr           200     0.71%write-in    111        0.39%

find more information about Mayor Foy by going to:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Foy

You do know that Kenneth Lewis lives in Estes Hills precinct, right?

Foy is the only person whose location I had any familiarity with as a Chapel Hill Mayor until very recently.  When Cunningham was out and there was discussion of other races he could possibly get into over on BlueNC I looked up where he lived on his facebook account in the hopes that maybe he could challenge Foxx... although now I think he's most likely to get back into the race.  I don't know where Marshall is from either, but I now feel prompted to look that up.

Kenneth Lewis is a Durham lawyer and a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010.

I was just going off his N&O profile and descriptions I have seen elsewhere."Maybe the same people who call Kevin Foy a Chapel Hill democrat dismiss Kenneth Lewis as a Durham lawyer. "I hadn't considered that.  I wish that none of the candidates would actually get dismissed out of hand.  I'd like to see them all run.Kenneth Lewis was the first to jump into the race, the first to do a live blog on bluenc, and the first to respond to my questions about lgbt equality (which in some past elections have been somewhat ignored) and set the tone for a more open honest discussion of lgbt issues.  It is kind of cool to think I live in an adjacent precinct to Mr. Lewis here in Booker Creek.I'm not sure of the Durham Lawyer description is a dimissial though, I mean it seems hard to dismiss the first and for a while only candidate who was in the race.  Especially with hiring Trippi which seems like a strong move for his campaign.  Certainly in the conversations I've had with friends around here, with classmates over in Raleigh, and online, I haven't heard Lewis being dismissed the way Foy has been.  Although I have heard a generic meme of none of the candidates are as serious of contenders as Roy Cooper could have been.

this isn't anything close to an official announcement.  But it seems like the Cal Campaign enginges are firing up again based on a message that was sent out today.  Here is the first part of it: 

When Cal took a step back from the Senate race two weeks ago, several
things happened. The disappointment from his supporters was palpable,
two other formidable politicians announced that they wouldn't run. Then
the media came alive with stories that Cal was being asked to
reconsider the race by Democrats at the grassroots, state and national
levels -- Very encouraging news to those of us who have always believed
in this campaign. We now have every reason to believe that Cal is
listening to those who want him back in the running.This campaign began at the grassroots, right here with your membership in
this group. Now we're ready to take the next logical step: building a
community-driven flesh and blood campaign organization.If you'd like to help Cal Cunningham beat Richard Burr next fall, we need to
know who you are, where you live, and what you can do to help us build
the most powerful community-driven campaign in North Carolina history.Please reply to this message right now! Let us know:1) the county and city or town you live in2) your phone number and email addressOne of us will reply to you shortly by phone for a talk and to share more details.

  -------------------------------- http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/foy_still_thinking As mentioned before Foy "hopes to decide by the end of the month" and that month ended about an hour ago.  Think we'll hear something out of him this week now that he's presumably had the holiday weekend to mull it over and talk with family about it?  Anyone care to make predictions?  --------------------------------More signs of a possible Cunningham run out today: http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2009/12/cunningham_to_r.php

Cunningham To Run Against BurrDecember 1, 2009 10:23 AMBy Reid WilsonTwo independent sources tell Hotline OnCall that ex-state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) is set to announce he will run against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), reconsidering his earlier decision to drop out of the race.Already, several big-name candidates have declined to challenge Burr, who is running for a second term. Cunningham, an atty and U.S. Army Reserve captain from Lexington, will give Burr a solid, if not top-tier, challenger in '10.Cunningham will announce his decision in the coming weeks, according to one source.The DSCC had been courting Cunningham all year, and the party stepped up its efforts to get him in the race once Rep. Bobby Etheridge (D) declined to run.After initially declining to run, Cunningham will be portrayed as the next Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), who also started off her race against then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) by saying no to a bid. Hagan only jumped into the race late in Fall '07, a year before she defeated Dole.Sec/State Elaine Marshall (D) is already in the race against Burr, though few see her as able to give the incumbent a serious challenge.But strategists on both sides agree that Burr is no Dole, who was widely seen as unprepared for an unexpectedly difficult race. Burr has been stockpiling money -- he had almost $3.5M in the bank at the end of Sept. -- and has already assembled the beginnings of a campaign team.Burr won his '04 election over ex-WH CoS Erskine Bowles (D) by a 52%-47% margin.UPDATE: A Dem flack passes along a funny statement the NRSC put out 11/10, when Cunningham said he would not run: "Once again the DSCC and national Democrats have suffered a serious setback in their efforts to land a top-tier Senate candidate in North Carolina," NRSC spokesperson Colin Reed said at the time.So how does the NRSC feel now that Dems have apparently scored their "top-tier" recruit? Comms director Brian Walsh responds: "At this late stage in the process, this has become a much greater problem for national Democrats than it is for us. After nearly a dozen recruiting failures the establishment might have finally found a candidate they like but they now face two big problems - 1) a three-way primary against two opponents who have already been working hard to shore up the support of key Democrat primary voting blocs; 2) a candidate who has no demonstrated record of raising the money needed for this race and even worse, is coming in against candidates who already have a head start."


 December 01, 2009Categories:* North CarolinaIn switch, Cunningham planning to take on BurrFormer North Carolina state senator Cal Cunningham, who Democratic strategists view as an up-and-coming candidate, is making plans to run against Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), according to a senior Democratic operative, reversing his earlier decision to stay out of the Senate race.Democrats believe Cunningham, as a young, former elected official with a military background, would be the strongest potential Democrat to challenge Burr.

--------------------------------Another campaign related update.  The Kenneth Lewis official campaign kick off event is happening soon:http://www.democratsenators.org/o/49/t/880/signUp.jsp?key=1342

 RSVP to the Durham Launch EventJoin us this week at Labourlove Gallery as Ken Lewis launches his campaign for U.S. Senate in the Durham community.Durham Launch EventThursday, December 3rd at 4pmLabourlove Gallery, Golden Belt807 East Main StreetDurham, NC 27701Please RSVP below.

--------------------------------A source like Hotlineoncall isn't one I'm particularly familiar with, but this one seems a little more well known on the whole Cunningham likely to get into the race thing:http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/senate/nc-sen-democrats-get-cunn...

NC-Sen: Democrats get CunninghamIraq war veteran and former state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) will challenge Richard Burr (R) in 2010, reversing his earlier decision to opt out of the race and giving national Democrats a candidate they believe can oust the freshman North Carolina senator.Cunningham is expected to make his intentions official early next week, according to informed sources, and will join a Democratic primary field that already includes Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and attorney Ken Lewis.After months of weighing a bid, Cunningham took himself out of consideration just a few weeks ago as it seemed clear that Rep. Bob Etheridge would -- finally -- seek the seat. (Etheridge has been rumored as a Senate candidate forever.) But, Etheridge took a pass and national Democrats immediately re-focused their attention on Cunningham whose profile they believe is the right one to take advantage of a softness in Burr's numbers.First elected in 2004 over former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Burr has largely stayed in the background of the Senate and his poll numbers reflect that status with many voters having little sense of him and his accomplishments.That said, Democrats struggled mightily to find a serious candidate to challenge him with state Attorney General Roy Cooper and Etheridge shying away from the contest.Democrats are hoping that Cunningham's candidate arc mirrors that of now Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.). Like Cunningham, Hagan was a state legislator who initially turned down the chance to challenge a sitting Republican Senator before changing her mind. Hagan went on to defeat Sen. Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) easily in 2008.The comparison extends only so far, however. Dole had done little to mind the store in the Tar Heel State and she proved an inflexible and ineffectual campaigner running in a very difficult year to be a Republican.Burr, likely alarmed by Dole's loss, is paying far closer attention to the state and has the benefit of running in what is shaping up to be a far better national political environment for Republicans.Still, assuming Cunningham has secured commitments from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for fundraising help and independent expenditure spending, this is a race that is likely to come down to the wire -- an improvement on where national Democrats stood in the state just a few weeks ago.

The DSCC has a dismal record of supporting Republican-lite, Obama-type candidates whose progressive veneer melts at the first sign of real debate.

It'll be hard to know all his stances until they get a campaign website up and running, but there are a few videos out there of Cal addressing various groups which may have some content there.  And of course I have some idea where he stands on lgbt equality, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, because he sent me a facebook message responding to my question saying where he stands.  I am also not sure that we should consider DSCC support of him as a bad thing.  Besides whoever the primary winner needing all the support they can get to beat Burr, Cal was out there unofficially campaigning back when the DSCC was courting the likes of Cooper & Etheridge, so at least if the DSCC's thinking process is "lets pick the most republican-lite candidate we can find" they didn't go to Cal first or second. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In9qD5Hnp2Qhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbb_vYhal84http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv3xyh-K41o And there may be more links to info/videos/news coverage on the facebook group:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106543775883 In other campaign news, Lewis picked up an endorsement today (here is a narrowed down version of the e-mail the campaign sent out to supporters that I recieved earlier today):

Former Durham Mayor and State Senator, Wib Gulley, announced his decision to
endorse Ken Lewis in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Gulley's
endorsement is a big break for our campaign, and will help us continue
to build our support in the Durham-area and across the state.Gulley's reasoning for supporting us is exactly why our campaign is gaining momentum across the State:

"I have always looked for candidates and public officials
who want to do more than just fill a position or offer more of the same
in politics. And that really is the point for all of us when we think
about who North Carolina should elect as its US Senator next year. We
need to do so much more than just elect another person to this
important federal position. It's true that our state and nation
confront difficult economic and international issues, but we also need
to choose a person who can help reinvigorate our democracy and build
confidence in our federal government. In short, we need Ken Lewis."  

Does he support the Bush/Cheney/Gates/Obama Afghanistan escalation? If he does, he should be targeted for defeat as either ignorant or a deceiver. If he opposes it with a solid explanation, we should all get behind him.


Sec. of state's husband dies RALEIGH -- The husband of North Carolina's secretary of state died in his Raleigh home Saturday morning after a yearlong battle with cancer.A spokesman for Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said William H. Holdford, 77, died with Marshall and other family members by his side.Spokesman George Jeter said Holdford had multiple forms of cancer.


He received a bachelor's degree and a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill
and was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 1960, according to
his law firm's Web site. He started the law firm with his brother and
brother-in-law after returning from service in the Army.

 I know losing a family member is hard enough, I can't imagine losing a signficant other, especially in the middle of a campaign, and especially so close to her birthday & the holidays.  I've only ever spoken to her a few times, and only online, but my thoughts & sympathies are very much with her & her family at this time.

Kevin announced on his Twitter feed today that he won't be seeking the nomination:

"I decided not to
run for the U.S. Senate seat next year - but I very much appreciate all
the support and encouragement I've received."


vs vs vs  Unfortunate to see him go.  I think the bigger the race is, the more attention it draws, and the more name recongition all the candidates can build so long as they stay positive, but I think as long as the field doesn't narrow any more until the primary is decided that we'll still be in good shape.

He would have been a solid progressive candidate.

I just poked around and Cunningham has nothing to to show on the bankrupt foreign policy that Obame has embraced. Not a hint. That is evidence of not being on top of the game.

taking strong anti-Obama foreign policy stances from their pre-official campaign launch days?I think once Cunningham officially launches a campaign, probably in the next couple of weeks, and has a website up with an issues section we'll be better able to judge where he stands (although obviously track record counts a lot too, & hopefully that kind of info would be in an issues section), but right now as best I can tell none of the candidates, even those with officially launched campaigns & campaign websites, have issue sections.  And the President's surge until 2011 plan hasn't been public all that long for people to respond to as compared to domestic issues issues like healthcare, domestic violence, & Burr's anti-rape amendment vote which all the candidates & likely candidates seem to be addressing.Maybe that means all the democratic candidates are not at the top of their game, or maybe it just means it is early yet.  I would like to see debates as soon as possible to help flesh out all their stances though.  I know absolutely none of the candidates took stances on lgbt issues this early until I asked them individually, maybe you could reach out to them this?  I know Mark K seemed to know Cal a little & thought he was good guy, which makes me think he is of good character, but I too would like to know about his issues before deciding who to vote for in the primary (if the vote were held today I'd probably go for Lewis, but I'm not leaning strong one way or another, its still very much dead heat for me).  Right now I'd take all 3 of the candidates over Burr. I don't know whether he supports ending the wars before 2011 or not, but he certainly seems to be holding those involved in misconduct accoutable:

I'm just not going to vote for any more war supporters. Kay Hagan, David Price, Beverly Perdue, Obama, etc.

From a facebook group message:

 You folks, the early supporters, were instrumental in making this candidacy happen. Without your enthusiastic support, continued belief in the necessity of this campaign and willingness to grow this grassroots effort -- today's announcement wouldn't have been possible. Thank you so much for your tireless advocacy. I look forward to working with you to defeat Richard Burr and to give North Carolina the voice and the leadership we deserve. God bless." -- Cal

Campaign website (there is a short video on why he's running on the front page): http://www.calfornc.com/ (just noticed I said "Cal in in" rather than "Cal is in" & am correcting.  originally Submitted by Jake Gellar-Goad on Mon, 12/07/2009 - 1:58pm)

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_NC_1217.pdfAccording to poll numbers President Obama is back in positive territory in terms of support from North Carolinians and it looks like that is largely based on a bump from independents.With that in mind these polling numbers from earlier in the week, which show the candidates narrowing the gap between themselves & Burr (3 months ago the gap was as wide as 16 points & now the narrowest is at 5 points), it looks like thetides are turning, or at least nuetralizing.  The link also calls Burr the most vunerable republican incumbent in the country.  All this looks like good news to me. http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_NC_1216.pdf

And that us a huge indication of her intellignece and humanity.


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