Over the last several months it’s been no secret that Deborah Ross was the favored child of the NCDP to run against Richard Burr. Even the Chair of the NCDP, Patsy Keever, has been working behind the scenes to help Ross and even sponsored a private fundraiser for her.
But, yesterday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee did a very dangerous thing by endorsing Deborah Ross seven weeks before the March primary.
There are other candidates in the race for U.S. Senate – namely Chris Rey. Rey not only has served his county in the military but he is the mayor of Spring Lake. He was one of the first mayors in North Carolina to take on the issue of putting body cameras on law enforcement officers.
- Secondly, Chris is African American. And, yes race matters. Considering how minorities have been marginalized politically and otherwise in this state – it sends a clear message to minority voters where the Democratic elite stand.
- In 2014, former Senator Kay Hagan was supposedly the firewall to stop the onslaught of Republican wins across the country. Well, the firewall broke and she lost. But, why did she lose?
- Hagan lost by only 40,000 votes, in no small measure because Charlotte/Mecklenburg County’s black population didn’t turn out to vote for her.
- Hagan was told at the very beginning she needed to court the minority voters in this state and she (as well as her campaign) ignored that advice.
- Having the DSCC endorse Deborah Ross at this stage of the game sends the same message to minority voters in this state: sit down and shut up—we already have our candidate.
Deborah will have a lot of work to do. Outside of Raleigh no one really knows her name. So, I’m sure the DC money (as well as the consultants) will be pouring into North Carolina to change that.
Up until a few weeks ago, Ross didn’t even have a Latino on her staff and by my calculation she only had one or two AA on her inner staff. As the minority forum draws closer (January 29th at Goodwin House) I suspect that will change as she will probably be ask how many minorities she has working for her.
Don’t get me wrong, Ross is a polished politician—I’ve interviewed twice. She knows what the issues are in North Carolina because she’s been coached on those issues. At best, Deborah Ross can memorize talking points. But, after you speak with her for longer than a few minutes you can tell the “fire in the belly” as Chris Mathews would say just isn’t there.
I’m beginning to feel that the Democratic elite don’t really care if they win or lose as long as they get to control the game and the candidates.
And, the money is a big factor. Remember the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rules.
In the end, it doesn’t make a bit of difference who endorses Deborah Ross if she can’t turn out the minority vote. And, personally—I don’t think she can. Minorities (like most voters who take off their rose colored glasses) know when a candidate is genuine. And, they know when or if a candidate will fight for their best interest. If they can’t find one—they’ll stay home on Election Day.
Ross may not have shot herself in the foot with this DSCC endorsement but she may have shot herself in the foot come election day.
Edit: I love the haters. I got Deborah’s name wrong by spelling it “Debra” –shows you how much I keep up with her. Sorry Deborah. But, don’t worry too much, I’m sure the DSCC will get the spelling right when they start writing checks.