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Friday, July 22, 2011

Roundup, Raleigh Republicans: All the news that's right to print

Posted by on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 3:33 PM


We have a backlog of Republican campaign info to share. Summarizing: 1) Not one but two Republican mayoral candidates with the addition of Dr. Randall Williams this week; 2) The other, Billie Redmond, is out today with a list of her supporters, noteworthy mainly for the presence of Jim Goodmon, WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting chief, on it; 3) Just in case you thought school elections were non-partisan, District 3 candidate Heather Losurdo announced four endorsements today — the four Republican county commissioners; and 4) There's a Republican, Paul Fitts, running in the at-large City Council race vs. the two Democratic incumbents, Russ Stephenson and Mary-Ann Baldwin.

So without further —

1) Randall Williams.

He didn't include us on his press list Tuesday, nor does he have a campaign website yet as far as I can tell. So all I know about Dr. Randall Williams is what I read, which includes the fact that ex-Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer, fresh from his exploits as state GOP chair, is Williams' campaign adviser; Williams also "touts" the backing of Paul Coble, the Wake Commissioners chair, ex-Raleigh mayor and all-around right-winger from way back.

Preliminary conclusion: Williams is no moderate, in contrast to the seemingly centrist Republican Redmond.

Will the two Republicans split the Republican vote against City Councilor Nancy McFarlane, who's running for mayor as an unaffiliated candidate albeit with substantial Democratic support? Or will it be the case, as I hear discussed on the Democratic side, that the Williams candidacy allows Redmond to take the high road against McFarlane while Fetzer & Co. mount an attack on McFarlane's record as a close ally of outgoing Mayor Charles Meeker?

Two Republicans could be better than one in an election like this, where there's a runoff between the top two finishers if no one gets 50 percent of the vote on October 11. But that's usually true only if one of the two Republicans is a stalking horse for the other. If both are out to win — and both Williams and Redmond would seem to be in it to win it — they will hurt each other's ability to recruit campaign volunteers and raise money.

The basic facts of the Williams effort are reported here. His medical practice is online here, with a link to the N&O's "Tarheel of the Week" story about him. What does Williams look like? The best pictures I could find of him are here on the North Raleigh Rotary Club website. He's given to wearing pink bowties, I gather.

And a prominent Democrat told me this week that Williams delivered his wife's baby, and she thinks Randall is a sweetheart.

2) Billie Redmond.

Her "Leadership Committee (partial list)" follows below, with Goodmon, once a Republican but now an unaffiliated voter, the most interesting name. Goodmon's associated with progressive causes at the state level, not the least of which is his outspoken support for Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, in her budget battles with the GOP-led General Assembly. In city politics, Goodmon kind of lost patience with Raleigh over the "Plensa Affair" and is focused instead on his/Capitol's development interests in Durham; Goodmon now lines up with Redmond, a centrist Republican with strong Chamber of Commerce ties, rather than with City Councilor Nancy McFarlane, whose unaffiliated->progressive posture would seem to be the closest to his own.

The Redmond Committee:

Sheila Ahler
Jim Anthony
Gwen and Dick Baker
Larry Barbour
Jennifer and Joe Bryan
Mary and Jack Clayton
Patsy and Fred Day
Donna and Claude Demby
Brenda and Ron Gibson
Ellen and Ben Goldstein
Michelle Rich Goode
Jim Goodmon
Wallace Green
Melissa and David Jessen
Darleen Johns
Gary Joyner
Mary Jane and Howie Jung
Caroline and Danny Kadis
Karen and Larry Kelly
Cynthia and Kenny Marshall
Barbara Mulkey
Diane and Bill Mullins
Laura and Chuck Neely
Linda and John Odom
Tom Oxholm
Classy and Jay Preston
Sherri and Willy Stewart
Pam and Jeff Stocks
Ashley and Andrew Techet
Val Valentine
Miliena and Don Walston
Royce and Michael Weeks

3) Heather Losurdo.

She's the Republican candidate in the District 3 Wake school board election, running against incumbent Kevin Hill and Jennifer Mansfield. Hill, a former teacher and principal (he's now on the faculty at NC State) is a registered Democrat who's never, at least to my knowledge, been politically active. Mansfield is an unaffiliated voter with no ties to a party. And then there's Losurdo, who has strong ties to the Republican Party.

From Losurdo: "My campaign is proud to announce the endorsement by these majority members of the Wake County Commission: Chairman Paul Coble ... Vice Chairman Phil Matthews ... Joe Bryan ... Tony Gurley." The four Republicans, in short, with the most conservative of the four listed 1-2.

4) Paul Fitts.

Fitts, per his website, looks at the Raleigh city budget and sees waste. In other self-reported news, he's a driven man. I don't recall ever meeting him, but perhaps he's attending the Council meetings I miss?

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