GOP leaders are all-in on fighting their own Tim D'Annunzio. It's a risky strategy that will either save them headaches or put egg all over their face.
D'Annunzio, an outspoken conservative, faces former sports anchor Harold Johnson in the June 22 Republican primary in the 8th Congressional District. A few days ago, N.C. Republican Party chairman Tom Fetzer categorically dismissed D'Annunzio as unfit to hold any public office, a rare and stark denunciation of a candidate from his own party.
Today, the five N.C. Republicans in Congress came out united against D'Annunzio, saying Johnson offers the best chance for a Republican victory in November against Democrat Larry Kissell. That kind of unity is unusual, and was notable because a few of them -- Reps. Patrick McHenry, Sue Myrick and Virginia Foxx come to mind -- don't exactly represent the liberal wing of the Republican Party.
Two scenarios could play out now. Johnson could beat D'Annunzio. Fetzer and the Republican establishment would let out a long whistle of relief. Or D'Annunzio could ride an anti-establishment mood and a low turnout to victory over Johnson. That would be humiliating for Republican leaders and would give Kissell endless material for 30-second ads in the fall.
-- Posted by The Observer editorial board
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Posted by The Observer Editorial Board at 3:02 PM