In the 13th congressional district Republican runoff, we repeat our recommendation that GOP voters choose Raleigh publisher Bernie Reeves. We thought Reeves was the least objectionable of the four candidates who sought the nomination initially. We continue to think so now that it's down to Reeves or Bill Randall. The winner will challenge Democratic Rep. Brad Miller in the fall. The 13th congressional district covers parts of northern and eastern Wake County, plus areas in Granville, Person and other counties to the west.
It's true, Reeves is a narrow-minded, chauvinistic and cranky conservative, as anyone who's read his columns in the old Spectator or his current business, Raleigh Metro magazine, will attest. And yet his oddball views, if not exactly original, are at least expressed in his own words. Reeves also gets some points for entrepreneurship and for recognizing the importance of the arts in a modern city—his impulse when he started the Spectator.
By contrast, many of Randall's right-wing positions were lifted, almost verbatim, from other conservative campaigns—as the Reeves campaign gleefully demonstrated. For example, Randall's "principles" were taken from a Barry Goldwater-era tract written in 1960. So much for the new approach of the Tea Party crowd to whom Randall tries to appeal.
A retired Navy man from Louisiana—he was a career non-commissioned officer—Randall has moved around in recent years, running for a local office in Kenosha, Wis., in 2004 and, as soon as he moved to the Triangle, running for State Republican Party chairman in 2009. From what we've seen, he's angry. He's self-righteous. But why choose a copycat when Reeves is the real thing?
For what it's worth, both also-rans in the first primary, Dan Huffman and Frank Hurley, have come out for Reeves, probably because he'd stand a better chance against Brad Miller. Hopefully, not too good of a chance.