Monday, August 22, 2011

Convention kick-off rally set for Sept. 6

Organizers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention plan to hold a "year-out" rally at Time-Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 6, a year to the day before President Obama is expected to claim nomination for a second term.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will be on hand, according to a source close to the convention. The event will be open to the public.

Tickets are free. For information, call 704.330.2012 or email

The convention is scheduled to open on Sept. 3, 2012.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Veep candidate? Amid buzz, Rubio to give foreign policy address at Helms Center

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, shortlisted as a running mate by at least one GOP presidential candidate, will deliver his first major foreign policy speech next month at Wingate University.

Rubio's speech, titled "The Role of America in the World," is part of the Jesse Helms lecture series sponsored by the Jesse Helms Center. It will come on the heels of his first speech off the Senate floor and outside Florida next week at California's Ronald Reagan Presidential.

Rubio, elected last November, was recently mentioned by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as a potential vice presidential candidate along with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Rubio appeals to Republicans on many levels. He's Hispanic, from Florida and embraced by tea party activists.

“He fits every box you’re looking for when you’re looking for a VP, and then some,” Republican strategist Chip Saltsman told Politico this week. “He’s young, he’s good-looking, he’s smart, he’s done a good job his first (year) in the Senate, he’s energetic, he’s got a great family. He’s the total package in a lot of different ways. Whoever the nominee is, Marco’s gonna be at the top of a very short list.”

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Former Senate candidate deployed to Afghanistan

Cal Cunningham, a former state senator who lost a U.S. Senate primary last year, is heading to Afghanistan.

Four years ago, the Lexington Democrat, a lawyer in the Army Reserve, deployed to Iraq. A senior prosecutor, he worked out of one of Saddam Hussein's old palaces. Now he's on his way to Afghanistan.

He'll be one of two lawyers working with a special operations task force and even doing “Village Stability Operations.” He writes about the new deployment on his blog.

He'll leave his wife and two children in Lexington, including the daughter born after Sept. 11, 2001.

"We were pregnant with Caroline on that horrifying September day ten years ago," he wrote. "If I can play some small role in helping make a world safer for her and for Will – and their generation – the time will be worth it. Given the stakes for our country, I am compelled to try."

Last year Cunningham lost a Democratic Senate primary runoff to Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Big Guy likely to pass on 8th District rematch

It's no surprise that a lot of Republicans are salivating over the new 8th Congressional District.

It's not the same district that has twice elected Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell. It still runs from Charlotte east. But now there's fewer Democrat-heavy, Mecklenburg County precincts and new, mostly Republican voters in Randolph, Davidson and Davie counties.

In 2008 Barack Obama carried the current district with more than 52 percent of the vote. Republican John McCain would have carried the newly configured 8th with almost 58 percent of the vote.

So far GOP state Reps. Jerry Dockham of Davidson County and Justin Burr of Stanly County as well as former Iredell County commissioner Scott Keadle have expressed an interest. Not on the list? Harold Johnson, aka "The Big Guy" from his years as a WSOC TV sportscaster.

In 2010 Johnson won a GOP primary but lost to Kissell. Now, he says, he's "probably not" going to run. And Johnson, a longtime Statesville resident who moved to Cabarrus County to run two years ago, has moved back to Statesville.

Kissell, by the way, already has announced that he'll run again.

4:25: correction made. Johnson ran in 2010, not 2008.