North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest acknowledged Monday that fellow Republican Edwin Peacock faces an uphill battle for mayor of Charlotte. But, he added, so did his mother a quarter-century ago.
Forest was in Charlotte to rally the troops at GOP headquarters, where he was joined by Peacock and state party chairman Claude Pope.
"Some of our races are uphill battles," he told about two dozen party officials and campaign volunteers, a clear reference to the mayoral race in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.
But Forest said his mother, Sue Myrick, also faced an uphill battle when she ran for mayor in 1987. On the eve of the election, a poll showed her trailing incumbent Democrat Harvey Gantt by nine percentage points. She won the first of two terms, and later went to Congress.
Forest urged Republicans to put in the same grassroots effort that helped his mother win.
"She had no chance but she pulled it out," he said. "I think that's a template that really works."
With two weeks to go, Peacock plans to ramp up his campaign against Democrat Patrick Cannon. His TV ads start Wednesday. And in that night's Observer debate, he plans to draw some clear distinctions with Cannon.
Peacock chose not to draw distinctions with Forest. The state Democratic Party Monday issued a release calling Forest North Carolina's "most far-right statewide office holder." Forest, a favorite of many tea-partiers, has taken conservative positions. For example, he even broke with fellow Republican, Gov. Pat McCrory, by opposing Common Core education standards.
Peacock has prided himself on being a moderate Republican. He said he agrees with Forest on the basics, like limited government and the need for jobs. But, he added, "Dan and I don't agree on everything."
Forest, by the way, wasn't the only second-generation Charlotte Republican at Monday's GOP mini-rally. Peacock's father Ed was on the city council and ran for mayor in 1983, the same year Myrick was first elected to council. And Mindy Moorman, a GOP field organizer in Charlotte, is the daughter of former council member and county commissioner Rod Autry.