Attorney General Roy Cooper will not run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Richard Burr, WRAL is reporting.
Democrats will have to find another candidate.
(Update: Doesn't change a thing, says PPP's Tom Jensen. Maybe Cooper was the Democrats' strongest choice as of now, but Kay Hagan's campaign shows what can happen when the right newcomer takes on a vulnerable incumbent.
Also: The new state Democratic chair, David Young, would like it to be known that he's on the case -- and yes, recruiting candidates is how he'll be judged. His statement is below the fold. )
I had a conversation last night with a Cooper political adviser, and now I realize what he was telling me. Be careful about assuming that Cooper will run against Burr, he said, based on the fact that Cooper was at the White House the other day with the national champion UNC Tar Heels. Cooper's never been on a "Washington track" politically, the adviser said. He's always seen himself as a family guy who lives and works in North Carolina. It's nothing more, or less, complicated than that.
Other Democrats who could challenge Burr? The adviser basically couldn't think of anyone. Grier Martin? I asked. Sure, but doubtful he'll do it, the guy said. And none of the congressional Democrats (Brad Miller, e.g.) are interested. Cal Cunningham maybe, he said.
From David Young:
Attorney General Roy Cooper has been and will continue to be a tremendous public servant for the people of North Carolina. I thank him for his commitment to North Carolina."
"At the same time, Richard Burr has repeatedly failed to represent the people of North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. Whether opposing providing healthcare to the children of working families or equal pay for equal work for women, Richard Burr has failed North Carolina. And North Carolinians are tired of it. That's why his approval numbers are so low, and the voters will hold him accountable next year."
"The Democratic Party will have a strong candidate to challenge Burr in the 2010 race for U.S. Senate, and we will win that race."