A Congressional seat we can flip: NC-2

Facing so much angst about national politics, I'm always on the lookout for encouraging signs here at home. This year, one of those encouraging signs is Scott Cooper, who is running against George Holding in North Carolina's second Congressional district.

I first heard about Scott when he called to ask for a campaign contribution. That happens a lot to me, and I always welcome the opportunity to hear what North Carolina candidates are up to. Over the years, I've gotten pretty good at using those calls to gauge the viability of candidates. Scott's call was warm, professional, and focused. I could tell immediately that he has what it takes to win, so I told him I would donate. As a contributor, I now get regular updates about his campaign. He's doing the right things ... and he's doing them well.

When Scott called again last night, I used the opportunity to ask him about two issues: (1) reproductive rights and (2) Donald Trump. On reproductive rights, Scott is solidly pro-choice. End of discussion.

On Donald Trump, I could tell Scott had answered my question before. The first words out of his mouth were, "I'm heartbroken." That's the kind of response I expected to hear from a career Marine officer, partly because it matches my own sentiments about the role of commander-in-chief. Each and every day we see Trump squandering opportunities to lead our nation effectively. Sure, it makes me angry, but more fundamentally, it really does break my heart.

Finally, I asked Scott where he might disappoint progressives like me. He didn't flinch, but got straight to the answer. First, he said he wasn't focused on impeachment. Rather, he said, he's focused on winning his Congressional election and serving the people -- ALL of the people -- of his district. I tend to agree with that approach. Making impeachment a campaign issue in the second district would likely not be an effective strategy. There are other ways to hold Trump accountable, as Scott well knows.

Second, Scott said he wasn't on board the "Medicare for all" train. He understands the need for continuing health policy reform, but doesn't think M4A is the best or only path forward. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to talk through that issue in detail. I promise to follow-up.

We'll be hearing a lot more from Scott Cooper as he ramps up his campaign to unseat George Holding, and I'm very optimistic Scott will be successful. He may not punch all the tickets that flaming liberals (like me) would like, but I have no doubt he will faithfully represent the values of freedom and fairness.

Two more points. Scott said that Linda Coleman has called him and said she wasn't going to run against him. That means Scott is the only challenger to Holding, which has to be scaring the pants off of old Sleepy George. Also, Scott is building real fundraising momentum. He's meeting his goals, and has attracted the attention of DCCC.

If you do some of your own searching, you'll find good reporting about Scott and his campaign. Here's an blog post by Jerry Williamson at Watauga Watch that resonated with me.