Primary 2008 over and all that’s left is to clear the battlefields of the dead and wounded. For North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, that means sweeping away Democrat Marshall Adame and Republican Joe McLaughlin.
Craig Weber defeated Marshall Adame by nearly 30,000 votes (or 39% of votes cast).
This was, to me, the most surprising contest of all.
Weber, who failed to attract attention in 2006, somehow gathered the attentions of tens of thousands of voters. How this was done when he spent 2007 outside political activity is beyond my comprehension. Even in 2008, Weber’s calendar was light when compared to Adame’s. Was this a result of unaffiliated and new Democrats unfamiliar with Weber’s previous campaign? Was this a failure by Adame to capture the imaginations of voters?
The most important question of all, though, is this: Can Weber maintain this momentum?
Weber received more votes (51,408) than the total votes cast in the Republican primary for the same seat (38,144). If these Democratic voters return in November, it may mean a new blue shade for Eastern NC.
On the Republican ballot, former Onslow County Commissioner Joe McLaughlin lost his bid to unseat Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr.
Jones, Jr. barely (relatively speaking) defeated McLaughlin by 7,262 votes (or 19.04% of the votes cast).
Clearly, the Republican voters in the 3rd District saw through McLaughlin’s far-right-wing (as in even-more-far-right-wing than Jones, Jr.) rhetoric and supported Jones, Jr.
Though I’m no fan of Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr., I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, there are few things worse for NC-03 than Walter B. Jones, Jr. One of them is Joe McLaughlin. It’s a darned good thing that he’s out of Eastern NC politics, even if it’s for a limited time.
And now, onto November…Has Weber corrected whatever deficiencies he had in 2006? Can he convince voters to give him money for advertisements? Can he convince the NCDP, the DCCC, and the DNC to support a Democratic candidate in a near-permanently Red district? Can Jones, Jr. get the Republicans to support him? Will the NCGOP, NRCC, or the NRC support him?