Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Democrats trying to mount primary challenge to Kissell over health care

Still burning over Rep. Larry Kissell's health care vote, some Democrats in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District are courting a Charlotte attorney to mount a primary challenge.

The courtee is Chris Kouri, a former Ivy League football player who ran for the seat in 2002, upsetting a better known Democrat in the primary before losing to Republican Robin Hayes.

“I think it’s a legitimate groundswell," said Mecklenburg County Democratic chairman Joel Ford. "Chris Kouri is entertaining it. And I believe that if Chris gets enough grassroots support he’ll run.”

Kouri, general counsel and director of community relations for Lowes Motor Speedway, declined comment. But even the effort to unseat Kissell, a first-term Democrat in what was for long a Republican-held district, underscores the lingering passion over health care.

Kissell, of Montgomery County, was one of 39 Democrats who voted against the health care bill that passed the House by five votes last month. He was one of just eight from a district carried by President Obama last year.

A Kissell spokeswoman declined to talk about a possible challenge. "The Congressman is doing the people's business and is focused on that," said Haven Kerchner. "He has no comment on politics or his race next year.

Democratic critics of Kissell's vote say they could change their minds if he ultimately votes for any bill that comes back to the House floor. But to see how deep the frustration is Kissell has to look no further than his home county.

"There’s probably a whole lot of people getting in line to run this time." said Ralph Bostic, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. "A lot of people are probably dissatisfied with the way he voted on health care.”

Bostic is unsure whether even he still supports his congressman.

"I don’t know," he said. "I'm between two opinions.”


Anonymous said...

I appreciate Kissel's independence on issues, and his hard work for the district. I don't know that we could get any other freshman from here on armed services and agriculture committees whether Republican or Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Larry Kissell should think about Social Studies and what it will be like to become a teacher again. Kissell will lose the Democratic or general election because of a lack of Democratic votes. Better the Republican devil you know than the Democratic one you don't.

Anonymous said...

Are these the same Dems who are screaming about how terrible it is that Republicans are purging the moderates from their party?

Anonymous said...

No! These are different Dems. They just got here from the Shinola plant.

Anonymous said...

How crazy is Joel Ford?

The guy with a consolation prize job from Lowe's Motor Speedway secured by Robin Hayes to not run against him again is his saving grace from moderates that actually did win?

Is there something in the water in Charlotte? Sue Myrick should look into that, and Mel watt should quit drinking it.

Anonymous said...

I like Larry Kissell. He's no Ted Kennedy, but this isn't Massachusetts, and at least he isn't Sue Myrick.

Anonymous said...

Kissell is a good, honest man on his own but he has a horrible, ignorant staff that isn't serving
him or his District well.

Anonymous said...

Now, Jimbo, are you trying to help to the party find a stronge candidate. I am sure you know Kissel will have name recognition issues along with his inabliity to raise the money necessary. The winds which swept him into office are not blowing against him and his party who leading our country down the road to distruction. But go ahead if you think it will help and recruit against him. I think the people are less stupid than they were a year ago and we will see party change.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 11:53 on the 17th. Larry needs help getting his message out. He is trying to do the
right thing.