Former state senator Cal Cunningham declared his candidacy for the U.S. Senate last week, making him the third Democrat to do so. He joins NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Durham Lawyer Ken Lewis as potential opponents to Sen. Richard Burr.
Previously, Cunningham announced he wouldn’t run for the seat allowing a quick sigh of relief among his would-be primary opponents – however that dog just didn’t hunt for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), a group dedicated to electing more Democrats to the U.S. Senate.
The DSCC made news in North Carolina during the 2008 elections when they pumped millions of dollars into then state senator Kay Hagan’s campaign. The group’s recruitment of Cunningham seems to fit with 08’s model of success:
- Recruit a fairly young, likeable N.C. state senator to run for the U.S. Senate
- That state senator graciously bows out of the race
- That state senator formally declares their candidacy
With primaries about five months away (May 4), expect the jockeying and campaign rhetoric to increase rapidly in early 2010.
*$$$ promises being made?