May 18th, 2009
01:24 PM ET
5 years ago

National Democrats eye four picks for NC Senate seat

Republican senator Richard Burr is a top Democratic target in 2010.
Republican senator Richard Burr is a top Democratic target in 2010.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – When North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper ruled out a run for the Senate last week, national Democrats lost their top choice to take on Republican incumbent Richard Burr in 2010.

But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee still sees Burr as vulnerable, and several state Democrats have emerged as potential challengers in the wake of Cooper's decision. The Raleigh News and Observer even suggested Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, might jump into the ring.

Still, the DSCC - which is otherwise staying mum on the recruitment process - is taking four Democratic candidates seriously at the moment, according to a committee source.

Their top candidates are, in no particular order: Rep. Heath Shuler, the former NFL quarterback and second term congressman from western North Carolina's 11th district; Rep. Bob Etheridge from the Raleigh-area second district; former state Treasurer Richard Moore, who lost in the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary last year; and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton.

Also considering a run is former state senator Cal Cunningham, a 35-year old lawyer and Army reservist who just returned from Iraq and has been traveling the state meeting with party members. Cunningham told CNN he's "been talking to a lot of friends and fellow Democrats about returning to public service, and I've been getting positive encouragement."

Cunningham said he's "talked to folks in Washington, and we'll expect those conversations to continue."

Along with North Carolina, the DSCC sees Republican senate seats in Louisiana and Kentucky as possible pick-ups in the next cycle.


Filed under: DSCC • North Carolina
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. SENSIBLE MIKE

    while I have complete sympathy for Ms. Edwards cancer condition as well as the fact that her husband is a lying cheat exactly what makes her qualified to be a US Senator???

    May 18, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. NC Senate

    That list is way off. Let's try Kenneth W. Lewis (no, not the B of A guy) and Cal Cunningham, realitive unkowns, but without the baggage that comes with the others.

    May 18, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Luke Brown

    I am for any of them ... Burr is just one more nay-saying Republican in the way of the 21st century. Republicans have no ideas, no solutions, and no commitment to move our nation forward.

    Mr. Burr, tax breaks for oil companies and the rich are not a solution to anything.

    May 18, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. NC=Blue in 2008

    Kenneth Lewis also announced he might run for that Senate seat. I don't know about the other candidates mentioned here, but NC needs some real progressives.

    May 18, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Really!?

    Nothing like grassroots, representative government from the local level. The national committe presents the state a list of acceptable candidates. How American!

    May 18, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. lovable liberal

    As long as you don't expect a liberal, you might get a DINO from NC.

    May 18, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. spence

    Romney/Burr 2012!!

    May 18, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Lisa B

    Elizabeth Edwards would not be a good choice. Her health issues and her complicity in her husband's coverup temper the sympathy factor considerably.

    May 18, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. I can see Canada from my house!

    Shuler would be a shoe-in, since he is a conservative Democrat and would pull in a lot of votes from the center. I hope he gets the nod. the point, after all, is to win, and he would side with the president far more than against him ( Republicans, take note: this is what Senator Graham said would win elections).

    May 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Biff Hedrickson

    The democrats are desperate: they should run John Edwards, not Elizabeth who is ill.

    May 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    If the dems in Washingto keep spending like a fleet of drunk sailors, no matter how good a candidate they bring forward, the repb will keep his seat, Kentucky and Louisianna. Anyone who has ajob and pays income taxes knows that their taxes will be raised to continue the dems spending spree on social/ welfare programs. Unless more than 50% of any of these states are people with a hand out for the goverment to take care of them, they would not be wise to keep the dems in power after this last 5 months where more money was spent in 100 days than in "W's" first 4 years.

    May 18, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Dace Tucson

    Just get another senator in there to stop the strangle hold the party of NO has – they have destroyed the country and will not stop. They need to be down to at least 30 for a couple of decades to reverse all the damage they have done.

    May 18, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Nick

    Here's an idea: let's repeal the 17th amendment completely. Besides the fact that evidence exists that it was fradulently declared ratified when it had not been, the 17th amendment fundamentally altered the founders' concept of having the states control the U.S. Senate. Congress has trampled the states ever since.

    May 18, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Turnabout is Fair Play

    nce May 18th, 2009 2:31 pm ET

    Romney/Burr 2012!!
    -----------------

    Dream on fool! LOL!!!!

    May 18, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Dave

    They may see Burr as vulnerable but if the Dems in the state don't improve it won't happen. We just elected Kay Hagan over Dole but many have remorse over it now. And with former governor Mike Easley being investigated by the FBI it doesn't bode well there, either.

    May 18, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Jim, Burlington NC

    Burr talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk, all for the American worker is he, who drives an Acura.

    He has done nothing for this state and voted almost in unison with Bush when he was still president.

    I say bring on Shuler, I have friends who live near him and they can't say enough good tings about him, it says a lot when your neighbors say that you're an OK person with a level head, that's all the endorsment I need.

    May 18, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |