The list of possibilities to replace U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick will surely change by the hour. Within minutes of Myrick's announcement that she won't be seeking another term, Roll Call was up with some obvious names: N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis of Huntersville, state Rep. Ruth Samuelson of Charlotte and state Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews.
We'll add former state Sen. Robert Pittenger and former Charlotte mayor Richard Vinroot. And don't discount some local prospects, including Mecklenburg county commissioner Jim Pendergraph (who will announce his intention to run, the Observer's Jim Morrill reports) and former City Councilman Edwin Peacock. Here's another: Mecklenburg county commissioner Bill James, whom we asked a moment ago about the seat. We got a definite maybe in return.
Said James, in an email:
It would be a good fit, politically speaking since I currently represent 160,000 of her 500,000 or so voters (and some would say her most conservative voters)
I haven’t decided. I have been working towards District 6 re-election. I think Sue’s announcement has taken some of us by surprise.
I would have to pray about it with my wife and discuss the impact on my family of such a significant undertaking. Sue has been a good steward of taxpayer resources and stood up for conservative principles.
In the what-might-have-been category falls Pat McCrory. For years, the political scuttlebutt has been that McCrory yearned for Myrick's congressional seat. He's been mentioned as a possible replacement for her for at least four years. In 2008, speculation about Myrick seeking an eighth term fueled speculation about Republicans who might replace her. McCrory was mentioned along with Pittenger.
So, with Myrick's announcement today, you have to wonder what's going through McCrory's mind. He's the front-runner in the N.C. governor's race with Democratic incumbent Bev Perdue deciding not to run again, and thus far no Democrat doing well in polls against him.
But if he had known Myrick wasn't going to run again for Congress before he decided to seek the governor's job, do you think he would have?If he'd sought and won Myrick's congressional seat, he could be set for a long time. Myrick, despite her term-limit pledge, surely was. The governor's job expires after two terms.
Posted by the Observer editorial board