Under the Dome

Etheridge considering Senate bid

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge said today that he is giving some thought to running against Republican Sen. Richard Burr next year.

Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat, said he has been courted by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as a potential candidate, reports Rob Christensen.

“I’m evaluating it,” Etheridge said during a meeting Wednesday with reporters and editors at The News & Observer.

Etheridge said he met recently with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and had discussions with family members and a few key supporters. Etheridge said he hoped to make a decision by September.

The backing of the DSCC is important because Senate races have become nationalized. The DSCC spent at least $10 million on behalf of Democrat Kay Hagan last year, playing a pivotal role in her defeat of Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

Etheridge said it was a particularly difficult decision because he is the first Tar Heel in 56 years to serve as a member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee.

Read more after the jump.

The DSCC had initially tried to recruit state Attorney General Roy Cooper into the race, but he announced this spring that he would not run.

Etheridge said the party made a run at him earlier this year and he said no. But they have come back at him again in recent weeks and this time he is listening.

The party has been attracted to Etheridge because he is regarded as a moderate, a proven vote getter and an accomplished fundraiser.

One Democrat, Durham attorney Kenneth Lewis, has announced his candidacy for the Senate seat. At least four others are considering it: former state Sen. Cal Cunningham of Lexington, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker.


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Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

"Etheridge said he met recently with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." That's all I needed to know to make my decision.

Because you prefer your Senator to be impotent and report to Minority Leader Mitch "Who?" McConnell, like Burr who didn't get the job.

Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

"Etheridge said he met recently with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." That's all I needed to know to make my decision.

Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

Draft Dr. Michael Munger too!

Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

I think Etheridge is clearly a marketable candidate for the Democrats, given he has been elected statewide in the past, as State Superintendant of Public Instruction. He definetly has the potential to pull a Hagan, and plus Etheridge's campaign coffers are probably deeper than Hagan's were at this time in '07

Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

Will "pulling a Hagan" now become part of the NC political lexicon?

Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

Career politicians breed corruption and lies. Vote them out or they and their cronies die in office.

Option win
Option lose

Re: Etheridge considering Senate bid

The multi-million dollar dance of the elephants and donkeys begins. Meanwhile, the (libertarian) penguin will wait in the wings for the dust to settle so we can get down to the real business at hand.

Yes, there will be a Libertarian candidate, so voters will not have to choose between Twittledumb and Twittledumbder. They'll actually have the opportunity to vote for someone who will represent North Carolina, not the RNC, DNC or special interests & lobbyists.

Dr. Mike Beitler ( is seeking the Libertarian nomination. Other libertarians may surface. The people will have a real choice.

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