Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NC Senate Candidate appearances fizzle in North Meck. Media spectacle avoided?

The post-NCGOP appearances in North Mecklenburg scheduled by Greg Brannon and Thom Tillis for Monday and Tuesday both fizzled this week as the candidates had to get back to their "day jobs".

Monday afternoon, the Brannon campaign announced that Dr Brannon could not "get away from the hospital" for a meet and greet in Cornelius after being in Charlotte all weekend.  This event will be rescheduled sometime soon.

Tuesday evening, Speaker Tillis was scheduled to speak at the North Mecklenburg Republican Women's meeting in Huntersville.  However, a long-running Appropriations Committee meeting prevented him from catching his ride out of Raleigh with Rep. Charles Jeter and Ms Tillis.

In the end babies and the budget are more important than campaign events.

However, if there was one person breathing a sigh of relief at these cancellations, it has to be Speaker Tillis's new media consultant for the US Senate campaign - Brad Todd.  Just a few days on the job, Mr Todd may have lucked into avoiding a media disaster at the NMRW meeting.

Being the first local appearance in North Meck after announcing his candidacy, Speaker Tillis would have faced a large contingent of angry voters Tuesday night in a forum that should have been a celebration and an easy kick-off to his campaign.  Instead, the packed room was heavily populated with people who wanted to talk about HOT lanes - the unpopular local project where he's the prime supporter in Raleigh.  Several known faces from were present, but judging by the reaction and murmurs during Rep Jeter's remarks on the subject, there were many other opponents of the project in the crowd as well.  It likely would not have been pretty.  What would have made matters worse is that this event would have had television media coverage.  (The Channel 14 news van was seen leaving just prior to the event's start time once it was known the Speaker would not be there.)

Coming on the heals of Sunday's events, avoiding a second less-than-positive engagement with the party faithful in the candidate's back yard in a single week (this one televised) was likely considered a godsend for the new media management operation over at Team Tillis.

NMRW Crowd

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