According to an article today in the Southern Political Report, the Republican Party is looking to put a full court press on Larry Kissell for his seat in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District in 2010. They are already lining up possible candidates and are hoping to lure the loser of the 2008 NC Gubernatorial election and Charlotte Mayor, one Pat McCrory. If McCrory doesn't pan out, they are willing to turn back to Robin Hayes if necessary, although Hayes is supposedly assisting the party with searching for other viable candidates that would have a chance in a race against Larry Kissell.
From Southern Political Report - July 8, 2009:
When Democrat Larry Kissell came within a whisker of beating incumbent US Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) in 2006, he became the early favorite for 2008. His folksy campaign techniques (appearing with a goat named “CAFTA” to draw attention to Hayes’s ultimate support for the trade agreement), along with his next-door neighbor background (school teacher, low-level textile management) made him a highly successful politician, despite having a poorly financed campaign (the DCCC didn’t believe in him) and the near-snooty disapproval of the district’s establishment. So when other seemingly more muscular Democrats angled for the 2008 congressional nomination, they quickly found that Kissell had the votes. Moreover, this time Democrats in Washington took notice and Kissell’s campaign was adequately funded. His 329-vote loss in 2006 became a 30,391-vote victory in 2008.
Nevertheless, there is much to suggest that Kissell’s 8th District (part of Charlotte, Salisbury, etc.) is a prime prospect for a Republican pickup next year. The marginally GOP-leaning district is 27% African-American, a segment of the electorate that turned out in high numbers in 2008 to support Barack Obama. Without Obama at the top of the ticket, this reliable Democratic group is likely to vote in smaller numbers. Moreover, although the President still gets a favorable approval rating in the state, his stimulus package is not popular, which could help the Republicans.
The top choice of Republican insiders to make the race is Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. His assets are impressive. He has been a popular mayor (an unprecedented eight terms) and is likely to run well in the portion of Charlotte and its suburbs that are in the 8th District. In addition, he has substantial name ID in the rest of the district after a strong race for governor last fall (47%). He is also an experienced candidate, a good debater, and he can raise money, essential to a successful campaign. McCrory is actively considering the race, but has not made a decision. His yea or nay is not likely to come in the next several weeks, but GOP insiders are hoping he’ll get in the race not too far down the line.
The entire story is here and is worth a close review: http://www.southernpoliticalreport.com/storylink_78_931.aspx
In his summation of the 2010 race for NC-08, the author of this article, Hastings Wyman states that "Kissell’s economic populism may still have more appeal than fiscal responsibility associated with opposition to Obama’s spending programs". Yet, make no mistake, the Republican's are coming for Larry Kissell's Congressional seat and they are going to pull out all the stops in doing so.
Larry? What are you going to do to get the Democratic base behind you when it comes to votes in Congress? Are you going to continue to vote like a Republican as you did on the American Clean Energy and Security Act while incorrectly stating that this resolution would have hurt people in your district, or are you going to vote like a Democrat and do your best to clean up our environment and bring affordable and non-junk health care to all the people of NC-08?
The ball is in Larry's court. Let's hope the guy most of us here donated to, volunteered for and were cheerleaders for in the last two election cycles returns to his senses. If not, with that Republican full court press that is coming and a missing Democratic base to get his back, the only return Larry is going to do is when he returns back to North Carolina after losing his seat to a Republican. A Republican who WILL NOT work for the people of NC-08. What a shame that would be for everyone involved.