House Majority Leader Holliman suffers defeat at hands of Grass Roots North Carolina …
For the first time since 1898, Republicans yesterday captured both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly. Although results are not yet final, it appears the GOP will be in solid control of the NC House with at least 62 of 120 seats, and of the Senate with at least 28-30 of 50 seats. Preliminary assessments indicate a rout by pro-gun candidates with GRNC’s highest 4-star (****) evaluation.
In District 81, House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman (D-Davidson, GRNC 0-star) was among the losers. Instrumental in killing at least 9 bills intended to help lawful gun-owners protect themselves and their families, including the popular SB 928 for “Castle Doctrine,” Holliman was targeted by the Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund (GRNC-PVF) via mailings, radio spots and “Unwanted” posters distributed in the district. The NRA endorsed Holliman against superior challenger Rayne Brown (****), one of dozens of races across the state in which the NRA either endorsed or inflated the ratings of anti-gun Democrats, many of whom lost.
Judiciary Chairman and ACLU lawyer Deborah Ross (D-Wake, GRNC 0-star), who was equally culpable in killing Castle Doctrine, repelled a challenge by NC State student Madison Shook (****) in her heavily Democrat district.
GRNC 4-star (****) Representative Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), who plotted Republican strategy to take the House, is widely expected to be a candidate for speaker. Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham, ****) is poised to become President Pro Tem of the Senate. Grass Roots North Carolina enjoys a close relationship with both.
Among GRNC-PVF’s 118 General Assembly candidate recommendations, including 15 districts targeted for mailings and radio spots, the GRNC political action committee also prevailed in NC House District 41, where Republican Tom Murry (GRNC ***) beat appointed incumbent Chris Heagarty (GRNC **). The race was considered crucial by the GOP for takeover of the House. Although Murry initially received a 0-star evaluation in GRNC’s “Remember in November” voter guide due to late return of his candidate survey, GRNC-PVF was able to mail postcard election alerts to thousands of gun-owning voters in the district.
With only some results available, other GRNC-PVF target districts in which GRNC-recommended candidates are leading include Norm Sanderson (R-3, ****) over Alice Underhill (***) and Stephen LaRoque (R-10, ****) over Van Braxton (***). Once election returns are in, this column will feature a blow-by-blow of GRNC target districts, corresponding NRA ratings and endorsements, and results.
With the exception of a bright spot for gun owners with the narrow upset (pending a recount) of anti-gun Bob Etheridge (0-star) by Renee Ellmers (***), races in North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts were status quo. Pro-gun incumbents Walter Jones (R-3, ****), Virginia Foxx (R-5, ****), Howard Coble (R-6, ****), Sue Myrick (R-9, ****), and Patrick McHenry (R-10, ****) easily beat challengers. Ardently anti-gun G.K. Butterfield (D-1, 0-star), David Price (D-4, 0-star), Mel Watt (D-12, 0-star) and Brad Miller (D-13, 0-star) were equally unscathed.
Although 11th District Democrat Heath Shuler (0-star) beat back a GRNC-PVF attempt to replace him with pro-gun challenger Jeff Miller (****), the roughly 20,000 difference in votes suggests that gun votes could not have overcome the margin of victory.
Similarly, NRA endorsements of Shuler, Larry Kissell (0-star) and Mike McIntyre (**) could not account for the large margins of victory in each race. Indeed, knowledgeable activists have suggested that the NRA’s “friendly incumbent” is actually designed to endorse likely winners in the interest of inflating its “win ratio” and perceived effectiveness.
GUN RIGHTS SUPPORTERS MUST NOT RELAX
After successful elections, Second Amendment supporters tend to become complacent. Gun rights organizations lose members; gun owners stop paying attention. To do so now, however, would be to waste a remarkable opportunity, especially in North Carolina.
In coming weeks, GRNC will make plans for introduction of legislation when the General Assembly convenes in January. First, we will ask you whatyou want us to do. Next, we will ask you to join us in a show of force by actually stopping in to visit all those newly elected legislators. Then we will ask you to keep the pressure on by contacting politicians and telling them to support GRNC’s legislative agenda, which will include (among other things) Castle Doctrine, reducing the number of “no concealed carry zones” such as parks and restaurants, and repealing North Carolina’s archaic, Jim Crow-era handgun purchase permit law. And finally, we will ask you to remember what politicians have done – for you or against you – in the 2012 elections.
As always, GRNC is a lightning rod, collecting and channeling your energy to those who shape public policy. But make no mistake: It is only by your energy that GRNC can defend and restore the rights guaranteed you by the Constitution.