With the chaos created by the Federal courts throwing out the maps for 2 of North Carolina's 13 US Congressional districts and the NCGA taking the opportunity to re-draw boundaries across the entire state in response, there is a lot of "considering" going on when it comes to who is going to jump into which race for Congress.
Nowhere is that more true than the proposed new NC 13th running from Iredell heading east across Davie, Davidson, Rowan, and Guilford Counties. The current 13th is held by Republican George Holding, but he has decided to challenge Renee Elmers in the 2nd under the new maps. That means the 13th is an open seat, and like all open seats it's attracting a lot of challengers.
Depending on who you believe and how you count, it could be as many as 10 - possibly more.
A number of those likely candidates are legislators taking advantage of a bit of self dealing benefiting only themselves. Under the special rules passed for just this Congressional election, legislators are allowing candidates (meaning primarily themselves) to run in more than one race at a time. Legislators can run in the March 15th NCGA primary and then turn around the next day and file to run for Congress in the special Congressional election currently scheduled for June 7th.
If a candidate wins both primaries, they have to pick one race to pursue, but for legislators in safe seats it's a sweet deal they gave themselves. They can run for Congress risk free, and if they lose they head back to their safe seat in the general assembly.
One candidate whose name recently entered the mix will be a familiar name to Lake Norman area voters. Colonel Ric Killian who ran in 2012 in the old NC-9 district is seriously looking at a run in the new NC-13.
Killian is currently on duty serving as an instructor at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA. In April he will be retiring as a full colonel after a 30 year career in the military and heading back to North Carolina. So, in some ways the chaos caused by the courts and the schedule conveniently arranged by legislators could not be more perfect for him if he decides to run.
We were a fan of Killian's when he ran for Congress in 2012, so the possibility of him stepping up again is exciting. He ran strong in South Iredell in that campaign and should do well there again if he makes another attempt. Incidentally, when Killian ran last time he himself was a State House member in a safe seat representing Charlotte in the NCGA. However, he had to choose to give up that seat to make a run for Congress. He didn't have the luxury of a fallback plan to stay in elected office like today's legislators - making his a much more politically courageous decision.
Here's what we had say about Killian back then:
"Ric Killian has the trifecta of foreign policy, legislative, and business experience that will allow him to hit the ground sprinting in Congress. None of the other candidates can match that. His military background will allow him to step into some of the same areas where Sue Myrick has been effective such as defense and intelligence. Having served on active duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he knows more than any other potential member of congress what war truly means and how the military should be used. His legislative background provides the lengthy history needed for conservative voters to feel comfortable with his approach to government. Killian received A ratings from the conservative group Civitas Action before it was "hip" to be conservative in the NC Legislature - meaning before the Republicans were in the majority. Killian received some of his highest ratings while in the minority when it took real political courage to cast those votes. His business background ensures he will minimize wasteful spending wherever possible. He regularly sites the national debt as the highest risk to this country, and he has shown how to reign in spending in his leading role in overhauling the State transportation budget using zero based budgeting to eliminate waste."
Those words were true in 2012, and they are even more true now.
With groups like ISIS on the rise, the national debt passing $19 trillion, and an ascendant Russia on the global stage, it's encouraging to have candidates like Ric Killian willing to step forward. Our country needs leaders with his kind of experience, not politicians looking to take advantage of rules they themselves made.
Take a look at Killian's 2012 campaign video if you need more proof he's the right candidate for the job.
Here's hoping he decides to run!!!