Breaking: Hagan to Challenge Dole (And Neal)

Swing State Project is declaring that Hagan will run for Senate.

Two well-placed sources, independent of each other, have contacted the Swing State Project to let us know that NC State Senator Kay Hagan (D-Greensboro) has reconsidered her earlier decision and will challenge Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

I dont think anyone is surprised by this. I will say that I am disappointed.

This race is supposed to be about beating Elizabeth Dole. From now until May it will be about what the future of our party will look like.

I am going to be supporting Jim Neal in this primary. As many of you know I am ultimately concerned with economic issues. It is why I am working for who I am, and it is what I believe in. The budget process of 2007 in NC matched with Jim's live blogging session means that I will be supporting Jim, ultimately because I do not trust Hagan's judgement on the issue of equal economic oppurtunity.

I believe that this race will tell us a great deal about the state of North Carolina as a whole, and this primary will tell us a great deal about our party, and our community.

Today being the 5th anniversary of the death of Paul Wellstone I ask that all of us fight for what is right, and for what we believe in. Compromise and moderation do not win elections. Courage does.

Comments

With you on that all the way, Blue South

I'm not surprised by the "reconsideration", but I, too, am extremely disappointed. Hagan has been a friend to children in NC, and a supporter of a lot of causes I believe in, but this just smacks too much of politics and not enough of courage.

(Nice to hear from you, by the way - are you staying warm?)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I support Jim Neal

and will be working for him out here in redneck country. (Not working for as in paid work, mind you......)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

So, this is what Ohioans felt like in 2006

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Just to add a note of reconcilation here.

You will notice that the DSCCs actions in that race resulted in the election of one of our most liberal Senators. Paul Hackett would have been great, but in the end we did end up with a real progressive.
I don't know Hagan well, so I guess it is time for me to look through her record. Could we be in a situation where we win with either candidate? Maybe.

Regardless, right now I feel like that damn Yankee Schumer is meddlin' in our affairs, thank you very much.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Robert, I absolutely think we win with either candidate

I also do not believe (or don't want to believe) that Kay Hagan is a homophobe and has entered the race for any reason other than that she had wanted to in the first place and was willing to defer to Grier, but isn't willing to defer to Neal. Primaries aren't always bad, especially when neither candidate has been tested on a statewide stage.

I understand the DSCC's job -- or a big part of it - is recruiting candidates to run for Senate. I also believe it is in their best interest to avoid situations where it looks like they are discriminating against a candidate based on his or her sexual orientation. If they had added Neal to their list of challengers and were still out recruiting, it wouldn't have looked quite so bad. However............

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Considerations

I'm curious. There are many who believe that one of our gubernatorial candidates should have deferred to the other and refocused to challenge Dole.

There is a potential senate challenger who appears to have deferred to another potential challenger. Now that the other challenger has opted out, she is reconsidering. Why is that beyond the political pale? Why is Shumer's agenda automatically her agenda?

There are many considerations to making a bid for public office. High on the list is quality of life for candidate and family, ability to finance your life during a campaign, capacity to raise the money needed. Lower on the list, but still a consideration, is what someone else will do.

I do not know Senator Hagan and I share Blue South's concern about her involvement in the direction of the state senate, particularly on economic liberty.

I also do not know Mr. Neal and have even less record to evaluate.

Ahhh, but we do have time to break bread and get to know them both as well as anyone else who wanders in to the picnic.

Living in Greensboro, I have to say that I really appreciate Kay

Hagan and all the good work she has done here. That being said, I also am of a mind that her candidacy might very well have to do with some recent DSCC manuvering and that does not sit well after both she and Grier Martin dropped out just a couple of weeks ago.

I believe we ALL want our candidate in the general election to be the person that has the best chance of sending do-nothing Liddy back to the Watergate and allowing us to have a Democratic Senator represent us in Washington DC. I also believe that we ALL want our candidate to be the best person to represent progressive Democratic values for our State and this country.

The need for change in our political landscape is obvious to everyone that comes to this site. The need for real progressive change is what is most important to me. I know it is early and I've just begun to digest the information given to us by Jim Neal, but at this point I am extremely impressed with his platform and his courage to take on this challenge. I will be supporting Jim Neal. We need a breath of fresh air in this State and I feel he has the ability to bring some serious rarified fresh air to the political discourse here in North Carolina.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

A primary win would help Jim Neal

Competing and winning a primary would give Jim Neal many great opportunities to emphasize his political philosophy over his sexual orientation. It would be much harder for Dole & Company to lambast or slander him, although I'm sure they still will. In any case, he'll get to say that he won a state-wide primary and that he can win a state-wide general election too.

They Will

Dole and the GOP will slander and lie about either one of these candidates. Its not a question of if, its a question of whether we are willing to fight back or not.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

It's simple - and not a conspiracy

Here's what I think happened: The DSCC liked Sen. Hagan, but settled on Grier and helped to clear the field. Grier looked at it, looked at his little girl, and decided staying in Raleigh was a pretty nice gig. Now the DSCC has eaten some crow and gone back to the other experienced, Democratic state legislator with a real shot at beating Dole.

That's it. Not a conspiracy. Not meddling. Neal has every right to run, and sounds like he'll be an interesting, compelling candidate. But Kay Hagan is not to be trifled with as a politician. She is a woman of real substance and accomplishment and is a terrific campaigner.

Plus, my good feelings for and support of Grier aside, I have always thought a woman might have an initial leg up in beating Dole. You lose fewer Democratic women right off the bat and might even pull pro-choice Republican women away from her. That's why I supported Secretary Marshall six years ago. Grier had his own strengths as a candidate that outweighed that, in my opinion, but it is certainly something to say in favor of Senator Hagan.

I don't think primaries between lesser-known candidates are necessarily a bad thing. This will give both Hagan and Neal a chance to establish state-wide networks and working campaign organizations, and will give both more statewide name recognition. If Neal can beat Hagan, he will have shown some serious mettle. Currently, he's being dismissed as "the only guy the Dems could find to run."

I also don't think she'll be the last entrant. There is room for an old Democratic Warhorse -- not sure which one -- to come in and run on name recognition alone as a sort of valedictory.

But as long as they run a civil race, and don't start slinging mud or spending each other into oblivion, primaries don't hurt.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I know you're right, Dr. Frank.

But I hate that gender or sexuality even enters into it at all.

I have always thought it might a woman has an initial leg up in beating Dole. You lose fewer Democratic women right off the bat and might even pull pro-choice Republican women away from her

Primaries are a part of the process - and Hagan has been a good state Senator. As I said earlier, I am disappointed that she didn't jump in earlier, because all things considered, perhaps Jim Neal would have as well. My resentment comes from the perception of meddling from the DSCC. I wonder if we didn't email them so insistently earlier in the week, would they have gone after Hagan again? Or did they?

Perhaps Senator Hagan would agree to live blog here so we can get to know her, too. I realize we must be considered the lunatic fringe of the party, but we're a loud, active, and committed fringe. So how about it, powers that be who must be reading this? Would Senator Hagan live blog here?


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

The perception?

I'm certain Dr. Frank is correct in his assessment.

That said, there is also no question that the DSCC went bullshit after Neal announced, literally sending a bagman to North Carolina to drum up more "acceptable" alternatives, spurred on by at least one of gubernatorial campaign manager and a flurry of other candidates who see Neal as a threat to their own campaigns.

I'm not second guessing the Democratic Party insiders - they're free to do whatever they consider in their best interests. I'm just not willing to be associated with them.

I'd welcome the chance for BlueNC readers to hear directly from Kay, whether she's running or not.

It pisses me off that I'm not part of this inner circle ; )

How much do I have to raise to be included!

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Who knows what the DSCC thinks

But I do know this, her uncle served in the US Senate for 18, 1971-1989, years from the state of Florinda. There are still Senators who served with him and he was a very respected Senator. Granted just becasue she was his niece does not mean she will rise to his sature, but it will help her rasie money in her race.

Somewhat Agree

I didnt mean for it sound like there was some grand conspiracy. However, the situation is horrible timing for everyone involved. I dont believe that Hagan said "oh lord not a gay man" and decided to run. But because of the timing of all of this it looks that way at first glance. But, that probably says more about my cynicsm than anything else.

I said long ago that I believed we needed a big name by the summer. We did not get that. However, I dont believe that this race is done. Dole's fundraising has not been enough to make her safe, and I dont belive that she can go a whole election cycle without a meltdown. But, I will not be making a decision on who to support because of what is good for our election hopes. I will be supporting a candidate who I think has shown courage, and an early ability to focus on the real issues of that face this country. I do not trust Hagan's judgement on economic issues, and would not have supported her in any primary, no matter the opponent.

Primaries are absolutely good for us. This will provide us with a chance to get free media coverage, and for the party to choose which candidate we believe in.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Blue South

I do not trust Hagan's judgement on economic issues, and would not have supported her in any primary, no matter the opponent.

Can you tell me why you don't trust her judgment on economic issues?


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

NCFREE

The hard-core pro-business interests endorsed Kay along with all the NC Senate Republicans.

Yup

If you remember the whole budget fight, and this inspired rant from me, you will see what I mean.

This year the NC Senate did horrible things in the budget process. The leaders behind those decisions were Kay Hagan, Tony Rand, Walter Dalton and Linda Garrou. Ultimately those 4 chose big business over people. I dont trust her because I believe that those decisions were made because they honestly believed they were doing what was right for the state. I know that a lot of PAC money from businesses gets thrown around this state, but I dont believe any of them were bought. I just simply have an ideological disagreement with them on what the economic policies of this state should be.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Thanks, I do remember all of that mess.

Thanks for adding some substance to my uneasiness.

I'm glad Jim Neal is running.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

The rumor mill must be in overdrive

based on all the emails flying around this morning about Schumer and the DSCC playbook:

Chuck's Choice for NC

Should be interesting.

To be fair

I really like Chuck Schumer

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

As do I

much of the time.

I do, too.

I think he's a fine Senator - from New York.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Another challenger to take on Hagan and Neal

From the Dome.

Hendrix, 58, was a Republican when he sought the nomination for the 12 congressional district last year. He lost the GOP nomination, finishing third with 12 percent. Vernon Robinson won the nomination and then was defeated by Democrat Brad Miller, Rob Christensen reports.

After the primary, he left the Republican Party and became a Democrat. Hendrix said he would run on such issues as protecting the Bill of Rights, private property rights, passing a so-called FairTax, and securing America's borders.

ugh

Fair Tax. I can think of worse things for our country, but they all involve plots from a Clancy novel.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

or nonfiction

from Cheney!

Primaries

Look, there's this phenomenal Democrat out there, who's never won elected office, but has worked with dozens of candidates we all like. He's spent his life working as an investment banker and supporting progressive candidates. When you talk to him, he exudes leadership and inspires confidence with his intelligence and dedication. Everyone who's worked with him comes away impressed. After watching the GOP bankrupt America, he decided he'd had enough, and announced his intention to run for the US Senate.

Unfortunately, Erskine Bowles lost, twice.

Jim Neal seems like a great guy, with his heart in the right place. But we haven't seen him on the stump or in debates, which is where Bowles ultimately failed. (He also got dealt two crappy hands, one with a two-month campaign season to overcome a massive name recognition gap, and the other with Worst Democratic Presidential Nominee of My Lifetime weighing down the ticket.)

Let's let Jim show us what he's got on the campaign trail before we put all our eggs in one basket.

They're my eggs.

I've already got them in a basket. It's up to Hagan to convince me to move them, now.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

A primary will help us in November

Neither candidate has much statewide name recognition, but going through the primary process will force them to advertise statewide this spring. Because there is a race there will be a ton of free media for both candidates, that wouldn't exist if there was no primary. The one who wins will all of a sudden be seen as a winner and will have earned statewide name recognition.

I'm afraid that without a primary either candidate might be content to raise money through spring and not begin their advertising campaign until late summer.

The key with a primary is that we all must support the winner and help them replenish their monetary resources. They are going to have to raise $10 million in 6 months.

Remember, two upsets of incumbent US Senators in 2006 happened after competitive Democratic primaries. Virginia and Montana. Primaries are not a bad thing.

Primaries are free advertising

If we can get over DSCC homopobia (and the possibility that Hagan is only running because of said homophobia), this will be a good thing.

Free advertising. Free advertising. Free advertising.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Primary = Good

Neal really does have to win a primary to be competitive in November.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Everyone please read this.

There seems to be some misconception that "we" don't want a primary. That could not be further from the truth. I think we all agree that primaries can be great, not only for democracy, but for the November election. The problem isn't that other people have declared. The problem is the timing of all this and really the problem is the frickin' DSCC going searching for a candidate ONLY BECAUSE JIM NEAL IS GAY. Do we really think this would have happened if, as MTB says "there's this phenomenal Democrat out there, who's never won elected office, but has worked with dozens of candidates we all like. He's spent his life working as an investment banker and supporting progressive candidates. When you talk to him, he exudes leadership and inspires confidence with his intelligence and dedication. Everyone who's worked with him comes away impressed. After watching the GOP bankrupt America, he decided he'd had enough, and announced his intention to run for the US Senate" and he WASN'T GAY?

It's time to take off the kid gloves, you either believe in civil rights for all or you don't. The DSCC doing this and any candidates who called the DSCC to spark this off, strongly suggest that they are on the wrong side of the issue when it comes to civil rights.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I am not going to say

that Neal being gay did not effect the DSCC in gong after Hagan. However as I stated eariler she is the niece of former U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles, a well respected senator in his day and there are still quite a few Senators who served with him. I do believe that had more to do with it than Neal sexual preferance.

Fair enough, but...

There's a difference between saying, "this smacks of DSCC panic over a gay candidate," and "the hell with Hagan -- she had her shot, so this means she's just a DSCC tool!"

Granted, nobody's come out and said the latter, but it's the tone I'm hearing in the grumbling. I could be hearing things....

I haven't heard anyone saying

I haven't heard anyone saying "the hell with Hagan" either. I'm certainly not.

In fact, Hagan had plenty of support and supporters here at BlueNC early on in the last legislative session. The luster wore off a little when the Senate budget negotiations went behind closed doors, but it mostly demonstrates that she knows how to play the game. I also know that Grier Martin had nothing but kind things to say about her.

"This smacks of DSCC panic over a gay candidate" is absolutely the right framing.

Your comment, Robert, is right on target

and my view is that this is simply another failure of our party to actually put their money where their mouth is...so to speak....and it's not just on the issue of civil rights.

Our local party refuses to do anything about state representative Wright who, if he isn't guilty of financial misdealings, has failed to anything but hide from some very serious allegations that have been going on for months. Our District appears unwilling to ask McIntyre to step up and explain on any number of controversial votes he's made, and his lack of attention and timely responsiveness to issues important to his constituents and the State and Nation. The State Party seems to be following in the footsteps of the republicans in trying to bring religion into politics...and I could go on and on.

I've concluded, rightly or wrongly, that our party is more interested in winning than in making sure we elect good people to office. I don't know Ms. Hagan or Mr. Neal (except from his time here) but it seems The national party should have lined up immediately behind Mr. Neal rather than, as it appears, started looking for someone to challenge him. As it currently stands, future events aside, Mr.Neal will get my financial support and my vote

SE NC Dems

Stan Bozarth

The DSCC was still searching after both Hagan and Grier

dropped out and before Neal's announcement. This isn't about Neal's personal life, it's about his political life.

Oh, and MTB forgot that Erskine was the Chief of Staff for Clinton. Right in there is a plus and a minus that change the calculus in NC. But I digress. There's no conspiracy.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

You guys have all the fun

back in NC! I'm going to be paying even more attention now that we have finally got some opposition to Dole.

Seriously, 2008 is going to be way more fun than 2006 was. You lucky bloggers!! Or something.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

I bet Neal gets tagged with

I bet Neal gets tagged with "Chapel Hill liberal", which is bad enough to the rest of the state. He should have moved back to Greensboro. :(

It would be easier to get the rest of North Carolina to identify with a gay man for Senate who wasn't currently living in a town that plain-folk NC Democratic voters have enough trouble identifying with already. And with the relatively recent move back to North Carolina, I bet he'll have a hard time shaking the "ain't from 'round here" tag.

"Ain't from around here"

wasn't a problem for Liddy Dole.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Dole had name rec

and a national resume that actually indicated competence. I've heard plenty of Democrats and Republicans alike wonder, just what the hell happened?

Her resume indicated competence

Her actual reputation did not.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Heh!

Liddy, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Obviously.

But they're fundamentally different. Elizabeth Dole was small-town and she looks, sounds like, and acts like a lady who brings a sweet potato casserole to grandma's Bible study meeting. She'd also been high-profile (small town girl who made good) and played up her North Carolina roots as part of the public persona she created.

It wasn't a problem for Dole because Bowles didn't hammer on it

Erskine Bowles made a lot of mistakes, but the primary one in my view was not harping (for lack of a better word) again and again and again about Dole's carbetbagging, or as I like to put it, swooping down on her broom long enough to register to vote at Mama Hanford's, winning and going right back to her real home at the Watergate in Washington DC, rarely to be seen again in these here parts.

Now its too late and if Neal is the nominee, that couldn't be used anyway, as HE just came back too. Yes, I know, not just to run for Senate, but will the independent voters who decide these elections make that distinction?

By the way, I'm not saying that should rule Neal out. Personally, I'm still undecided.

some of you seem to be saying....

...that because Jim Neal declared two weeks earlier than Hagan that she shouldn't run.

I must say that is novel argument.

Personally, I'm open to both myself and will decide after I hear more about how they stand on the Iraq occupation, immigration and health care, the three biggest issues of 2008, in my opinion.

Really, could you point out where that was said Paul?

You'll be happy to know that the new Weaver Street in Hillsborough will be stocking red herring, should you run out.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

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