Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Killian jumps into crowded 9th District race

Republican Jim Pendergraph has a pretty good resume, but he isn't scaring anyone away.

The Mecklenburg County commissioner got the early heads-up from Rep. Sue Myrick that she would not run for Congress again, and he announced his candidacy the day after Myrick went public. That might have been designed to discourage potential challengers from getting in to the 9th District race.

But state Rep. Ric Killian, R-Mecklenburg, this morning became the latest to say he wants the seat. In a newsletter sent to constituents and supporters, Killian said he is uniquely qualified for the seat because of his military, business and political background. Killian is currently in Afghanistan with the Army reserves.

The field is getting crowded. There are already seven confirmed candidates: Besides Pendergraph and Killian, there are Republicans Andy Dulin, Dan Barry, Michael Steinberg and Michael Shaffer and Democrat Jennifer Roberts. Republicans Edwin Peacock, a former Charlotte City Council member, and former state Sen. Robert Pittenger are thinking about it.

This means Pendergraph, Killian and Roberts will not be in their current seats next year. Dulin can run for Congress and hold on to his District 6 City Council seat because city races are in odd years.

We're not sure what Roberts is thinking. Anything can happen, we suppose, but this is a safe Republican seat. In 2008, the Democrats' best year in memory, John McCain beat Barack Obama by 32,000 votes in the current 9th District. Hard to imagine a Democrat overcoming those kinds of numbers this year.

Take our poll to the right of this post and tell us who you'd vote for from the current crop.

-- Taylor Batten