Renee Ellmers is going to face two primary challengers in 2016. Kay Daly, a former North Carolina GOP spokesperson is one of them in addition to former county GOP chair Jim Duncan. I like primaries for the most part. I think they keep incumbents on their toes and there are times when primary challenges bring about healthy results, with Rep. David Brat (R-VA)‘s win over incumbent Eric Cantor being a perfect example.
That said, primary challenges should be smart and well run. Primary challenges that reek of social media type rhetoric and bluster are not productive. Duncan, thus far, is running a well orchestrated campaign. He is hitting Ellmers on her voting record and simply laying out points to make the case she is not representing the district in accordance with the views of her constituents. Here is an excerpt from a press release Duncan issued over Ellmers vote on the latest budget bill:
Conservative NC-02 congressional candidate Jim Duncan criticized liberal Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) for voting for the budget-busting $1.1 trillion Omnibus bill today (RC #705). Rep. Ellmers’ latest vote for yet another big-government spending bill is further proof that she is out of touch with conservative voters in NC-02.
Negotiated behind closed doors, members only had one day to review the 2,500-page Omnibus bill. The bill fails to tackle Washington’s spending addiction, acting as goody bag for Washington’s favorite political friends. The Omnibus contains more than 9,000 earmarks, including the tax-dodging Charles B. Rangel’s “Monument to Me,” olive fruit fly research in France, a $1 million river walk in Massachusetts, and even $100 million in “emergency” spending for both parties’ political conventions.
In addition, Republicans failed to use this opportunity to tackle some of the most important issues facing the country, including the influx of Syrian refugees and job killing EPA regulations.
Finally, the bill continues to fund Planned Parenthood – something Renee Ellmers claims to oppose – but continues to vote for time and again.
Let’s contrast that with an email Kay Daly sent out with the subject line, “My Congressman Is A Child Abuser.”
My three beautiful children joined me when I filed because it is their future that has been placed very much in doubt by the political stupidity and cowardice of my Congressman (RINO Renee Ellmers), GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and a host of other gutless politicians who campaign as courageous “conservatives”, but govern as craven weasels cowering in the corner.
With the support of Ellmers & McCarthy, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) have turned the Speaker’s Office from a bully pulpit into the Pansy Pulpit, and I’ve had enough. Renee Ellmers has saddled my children (and yours) with an absurd level of debt that they have no realistic hope of ever repaying. The policy wonks call it “intergenerational wealth transfer,” but I call it what it is: it’s child abuse. It’s fiscal child abuse, and it must end.
The Congress has stolen from our children and our children’s children because it has politicians like Renee Ellmers who can’t say no. They are hopelessly addicted to the crack of spending other people’s money. It’s an entirely new kind of slavery: the kind where you force children to work to pay off money you spent before they were even born.
The Pansy Pulpit? Really? This is the kind of thing writers at Saturday Night Live look at and say, “I’ve got nothing.” There’s no way to make it parody. People will say, “She has a point with the spending and debt.” Yes she does, but it gets lost in her hyperbole and vitriol. Think whatever you want of Mrs. Ellmers, but calling her a child abuser is just absurd. Still, it wasn’t hard to see this coming. When Daly announced she was going to challenge Ellmers, here is the video her campaign released:
I am sure there are people who like this approach. Since it’s a district Ellmers won easily in 2014 (after redistricting) against American Idol contestant, Clay Aiken, the likelihood a Democrat wins there is very low. Still, Daly’s approach attracts the worst kind of attention to Republicans, especially heading into a presidential election. It does nothing but allow Democrats and their allies in the media to perpetuate their stereotype that Daly is your every day Republican and not an outlier.