Senate race gets interesting

Today Chapel Hill's own Jim Neal who is running for U.S. Senate against Elizabeth Dole next year (if he wins the Democratic nomination, for which he has no competition yet) was a guest for an hour of live-blogging over on BlueNC this morning. A surprising question came up, but not as surprising as the answer:

I've heard you're gay...
omega_star on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:09am
I am indeed. No secret and no big deal to me-- I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise.
JimNeal on Sat, 10/20/2007 - 10:18am

A Chapel Hillian to challenge Dole?

I know I'm late to the party on this one (sometimes I actually have to work instead of reading blogs all day) but how about this report in the Carrboro Citizen that Jim Neal of Chapel Hill is going to run against Elizabeth Dole next year? I've only heard a few other names tossed around, such as state legislators Grier Martin (D.G.'s son) and Kay Hagan, but I think Dole's a sitting duck.

I've never heard of him before, but Kirk says Neal is "a key Democratic Party fundraiser," so does that mean he's for real? Discuss.

Update: On another thread David Beck posted a link to an N & O story that tells us Neal is 50 and an investment banker.

Senate candidates lack ovaries

With John Herrera joining Mike Nelson and Moses Carey, the tally is up to three very qualified Democratic candidates queuing up to run for Ellie Kinnaird's NC Senate seat in 2008. But Senator Kinnaird is still waiting for her Princess Charming who will be able to maintain female leadership in that seat.

I certainly share her concern about the small and shrinking number of women currently elected to the Senate (in fact, I wish she had raised it sooner) but I also have to wonder whether having a Latino, an openly-gay person, or an African American would also make a strong contribution to that body.

The Carrboro Citizen wonders whether Ellie will call her own bluff and run for re-election if she can't find a woman to run for her seat by next spring.

Carey throws in his hat for 2008

I just received an announcement (from Mildred D. Robertson of BTA Public Relations in Raleigh, yuck) that Orange County Commissioner Moses Carey is announcing his campaign for State Senate in 2008. This is a bold (some might say "premature") move that I think must be intended to scare others out of the race. In fact the incumbent, Senator Ellie Kinnaird, has not even formally announced her own intentions.

County Commissioner Mike Nelson has made no secret of his interest in this Senate seat. But there are rumors that Ellie would very much like to be suceeded by a woman, so she may decide to hang on if there is no palatable (to her) challenger. Personally, I like both Mike and Ellie a lot and have supported both of their campaigns, but I think there is some residual resentment left over from the days when they were both elected officials serving the Town of Carrboro.



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