Politics & Government

Can NC Democrats inoculate themselves from GOP attacks on Pelosi?

The two Democrats running in North Carolina’s 9th District  say they don’t support Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as House leader.
The two Democrats running in North Carolina’s 9th District say they don’t support Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as House leader. AP Photo

As they did in Pennsylvania, Republicans are trying to tie Democratic congressional candidates to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco.

The two Democrats running in North Carolina’s 9th District want to make that harder. Both say they don’t support Pelosi’s re-election as House leader.

“A solid HECK NO!” Democrat Christian Cano said in an email.

And Democrat Dan McCready said, “The fact is leaders of both parties have let us down.”

“It’s time for a change,” he said. “And that starts at the top.”

Both Charlotte Democrats are running for the seat held by Republican Robert Pittenger. The 9th District stretches from southeast Charlotte to Fayetteville.

Christian Cano

It’s unclear whether opposition to Pelosi will inoculate either Democrat from the kind of ads that ran in Pennsylvania’s special election this month, where Democrat Conor Lamb narrowly beat Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Saccone.

Lamb overcame TV ads that sought to tie him to Pelosi, the former House speaker from San Francisco. Republicans jumped on Pelosi’s comments that recently enacted tax cuts are “crumbs” to middle-America compared to the benefits to corporations and the wealthy.

According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last fall, only 25 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Pelosi.

Dan McCready Deborah Triplett

“Nancy Pelosi is going to continue to be a major drag on Democratic candidates,” said Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Democratic candidates will be unable to distance herself from her. On the one hand they might say they don’t support her. But on the other hand they’ll accept support from the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) and the House Majority PAC, where Nancy Pelosi is the leading fundraiser.”

McCready criticized Pelosi in November in an Observer column where he took leaders of both parties to task over a Congressional fund that had paid out millions in private settlements, many involving claims of sexual harassment.

“And when Democrats had the chance to take the high ground in recent days after learning about the abuses of (former U.S. Rep.) John Conyers, Nancy Pelosi used moves from the Bill Clinton-era playbook, initially defending Conyers instead of condemning sexual assault,” McCready wrote.

In an email, Cano said it’s time for Pelosi to be replaced.

“To her credit, Speaker Pelosi has been good at one thing. But it’s been for the GOP!” he said. “And that is losing elections, supporting political collusions in primaries, supporting Corporate Democrats and (Democrats In Name Only) over real Democrats … She has single handled caused us to lose thousands of local, state, and federal elections with her complete disconnect with our rich culturally diverse working-class and struggling neighbors.”

McCready has a big financial edge over all his opponents.

Reports show he has raised $1.2 million in his bid to become the first Democrat to represent the 9th District in 65 years. He ended the year with $930,000 on hand.

Cano, the party’s 2016 nominee for the seat, reported just $46 on hand.

Jim Morrill, 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill

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