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Senate Democrats Lose Top Recruit in NC



North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper won't run for Senate in 2010. Photo by AP Photo/Chuck Burton

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today that he will not challenge Sen. Richard Burr (R) in 2010, robbing Democrats of a top recruit in a state President Barack Obama carried in 2008.

"While I am honored by the encouragement I've received, I don't want to go to Washington and serve as a U.S. Senator at this time," said Cooper in a statement. "I am committed to public service and I want to serve here in North Carolina rather than in Washington."

Knowledgeable Tarheel State strategists said Cooper's decision was based heavily on his desire to be governor and his interest in staying in state rather than federal office in order to accomplish that goal. (Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue was elected in 2008 and will likely stand for a second term in 2012 so Cooper has a while to wait.)

Without Cooper, the Democratic bench is somewhat thin.

Reps. Bobby Etheridge and Heath Shuler, who has already said no to the Senate once, as well as former state Treasurer Richard Moore, who lost a primary to Perdue in 2008, is also mentioned.

But Cooper was a "A" candidate who was running even with Burr in polling and not getting him forces Democrats into a re-recruitment effort that is unwelcome at this point in the cycle. (It's worth remembering that Sen. Kay Hagan was far from national Democrats first choice as a candidate in 2008 but went on to beat then Sen. Elizabeth Dole anyway.)

Senate Democratic recruiting is off to a decent but not stellar start. In addition to Cooper, Florida chief financial officer Alex Sink took a pass on the Sunshine State's open seat (she is now running for governor), and former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley decided against a run in Illinois. (That could be a blessing in disguise, however, as state Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the strongest potential Democratic candidate, is re-considering a Senate bid.)

The clear recruiting successes to this point are in Missouri -- where Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has cleared the field -- and New Hampshire where Rep. Paul Hodes will have a clear shot at the Democratic nomination. Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek wasn't the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's first choice but early returns suggest he will be a solid candidate.

Several primaries are shaping up for Senate Democrats including in Kentucky and Ohio. In each state, two statewide officeholders are preparing to face off against each other.

Democrats got some good primary news late this afternoon when Rep. Steve Israel decided against challenging appointed New York Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand in a Democratic primary.

"In the interest of providing New York and our country with a united front for progressive change, I have decided to continue my efforts in Congress and not pursue a campaign for the U.S. Senate," said Israel.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 15, 2009; 5:31 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

I am from North Carolina and I can tell ya that Richard Burr tends to us, the NC people. Alot of people compare him to Burr. The truth is, the differences are as much as the similarities. Similarities: Both Burr & Dole are anti abortion, pro death penalty, pro family, strong on illegal immigration & strong on national defense. The differences: Burr supports embroyonic stem-cell research & Dole opposses it, Burr supports it as enhancing medical science. Burr is more pro business than Dole ever was, as Burr truly is conservative on spending issues while Dole voted with a spending hand. In other words, Burr really is a champion of small business, tort reform, decreased gov't. & decreased spending while Dole didn't excite that group (like myself). Another big difference is that Richard Burr graduated & played football at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC. Burr is here in this state about every weekend with his family and people of this state, Lizzy Dole was always in DC when she was Senator...and at every other point in her life. Burr knows what NC cares about. He knows what roads we drive on and such as that. Burr's son goes to NC's biggest public University in University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill. Burr also is a big hit with farmers and really has the support of the business community, Dole didn't really. Burr appeals to conservative Republicans (defense, social & especially fiscal), independents & moderate democrats. Dole appealed to social & defense voting conservatives, not so much to business & fiscal conservatives nor independents.

Richard Burr is North Carolina's senior senator, and in my view, Mike Easley or Roy Cooper could give Burr a really tough reelection fight but with neither of them running, Burr looks to be on a great roll to reelection. I would also note a great feather in the cap of recruiting for the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Apparently, the North Carolina Republican party has recruited former Carolina Panther Mike Minter to be the Republican candidate vs. new US Representative Larry Kissell, who defeated Former US Rep. Robin Hayes. Minter should be able to appeal to alot of moderates and appeal to alot of the black community to support his election efforts. Minter could really help Burr with the black community in that district & statewide. Burr already has a good relationship with the black community b/c he did what Dole never did...tend to his constituients.

Posted by: reason5 | May 18, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

zoukie's mom must have un-grounded him and let him use her computer again. He's on kind of late though, maybe she doesn't know.

Posted by: jasperanselm | May 18, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey, king_of_zouk is out of detention!

Posted by: nodebris | May 18, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

You know, Ignatius wasn't a Bush cheerleader, but he did seem to support the positions that Bush took that Obama is taking now. I liked him, but now he just seems special. I know Dana Priest is the superstar of WaPo, but he is incredible too.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 17, 2009 3:50 AM | Report abuse

"Chris Cillizza isn't a gooper stooge. Quiddit. Richard Cohen, Charles Krauthammer, and, apparently, David Ignatius, these are goops. They'll go along with any of the qualifying lies."

Cohen and Ignatius? Really??

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Good indication he will lose. NC is a blue state now. And stop the sneer-quotes, troll."

Let's not get carried away. Obama only won the state by like 3/4 of a percent.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 16, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I am all for bringing gridlock back to D.C., divide and be less conquered..

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 16, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey CC - when you gonna write about Karl Rove's 'interview' today? You have been strangely silent. Friend of yours?

Posted by: drindl

==

Chris Cillizza isn't a gooper stooge. Quiddit. Richard Cohen, Charles Krauthammer, and, apparently, David Ignatius, these are goops. They'll go along with any of the qualifying lies.

Dan Froomkin is on the side of truth beyond dispute. Chris is just trying not to seem too biased but I'm convinced he's on the side of the truth too. Let's let the goopers be the ones to eat their own.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Who will be blamed after the next attack on the us. Not defaming the CIA. Not surrendeing across the world. Not displaying weakness to despots. Not the indecisive flip flopping obambi. It will be bush's fault of course.

Posted by: zing_of_kook

==

No, it won't be Bush's fault, but it will be Cheney's doing

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Who will be blamed after the next attack on the us. Not defaming the CIA. Not surrendeing across the world. Not displaying weakness to despots. Not the indecisive flip flopping obambi. It will be bush's fault of course.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 15, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

speaker ... revealed as a lying loon

==

link?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - Perhaps you failed to notice Chris on the Diane Rehm show today. Listening to the rebroadcast right now, you sound good Chris.] I forgot, anyone who doesn't write exactly what you demand is a Republican stooge.

Then again, if you were paying attention, you would have noticed it as #3 on the line of Fix picks. I know, such a shame with the facts get in the way of a diatribe.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 15, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Worst speaker in history revealed as a lying loon. We are being led by raving kooks.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | May 15, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone else wants to know, Sen. Burr is pro-life, supports the death penalty,

==

You don't see a contradiction here?

Of course you don't. You don't care about fetuses, you just like having an excuse to attack women. I'm sure women have been a source of serious pain in your life but you really shouldn't attack an entire gender with such zeal

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone else wants to know, Sen. Burr is pro-life, supports the death penalty, and favors a federal Constitutional amendment banning same-sex "marriage".

==


Good indication he will lose. NC is a blue state now. And stop the sneer-quotes, troll.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Another TheFix thread hijacked to JackeD's one-note tooting. This is why I call JackeD a fanatic

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 15, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

"Why are you arresting a priest for trying to stop the killing of a baby? You've got it all backward."

So, does he mean he should arrest a baby for trying to stop the killing of a priest? ;-)

Posted by: JRM2 | May 15, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

BTW: if you guys didn't want to discuss "abortion" this weekend would be a good one to not turn on the TV.

By TOM COYNE, Associated Press Writer Tom Coyne, Associated Press Writer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Former Republican presidential hopeful Alan Keyes, a Roman Catholic priest and 19 others were arrested Friday after marching onto the University of Notre Dame campus to protest President Barack Obama's planned commencement speech.

The arrests marked the third straight Friday that protesters have been detained. They are angry about the school's decision to give Obama, who supports abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research, an honorary degree and have him speak at Sunday's commencement.

"Notre Dame is arresting a priest," the Rev. Norman Weslin, founder of the Lambs of Christ abortion protest group, said as Notre Dame security personnel put plastic restraints on his wrists Friday. "Why are you arresting a priest for trying to stop the killing of a baby? You've got it all backward."

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping they pick up Colorado too.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will hold this seat in the U.S. Senate.

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Sen. Burr is a real loser all right. No wonder he is so vulnerable.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone else wants to know, Sen. Burr is pro-life, supports the death penalty, and favors a federal Constitutional amendment banning same-sex "marriage".

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

You rightwingnuts must be really hurting for a tertiary development like this to elicit such glee.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 15, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Woo hoo!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey CC - when you gonna write about Karl Rove's 'interview' today? You have been strangely silent. Friend of yours?

Posted by: drindl | May 15, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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