The 5th District of North Carolina leans red... with gerrymandering, it is close to ruby red. That conservative philosophy is carried through to the region's largest newspaper, the Winston-Salem Journal. In the past, the Journal has tended to lean conservative in it's past endorsements of candidates. Even though they passed on endorsing Bush in the 2004 election, they also passed on endorsing Kerry.
So the Republican campaign of Virginia Foxx must have come unhinged over the weekend as the Winston-Salem Journal endorsed her OPPONENT for the second time in a row. In 2004, the Journal endorsed Jim Harrell - a very conservative Democrat who ran on a platform of anti-abortion, anti-gay rights and anti-stem cell funding.
But this endorsement of Roger Sharpe is different from Harrell's nod.
This time they supported a real progressive candidate - Roger Sharpe. Sharpe has a diverse background. He received a Masters of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in NYC in 1995. Next, he graduated with a Masters from the Kennedy School of Government in 1980 and continued at Harvard's Graduate School of Education and finished with a Doctorate in Education in 1983.
After serving honorably as a North Carolina Senator, he worked as a special assistant to the Director of the US Office for Civil Rights in negotiating higher education desegregation plans effecting ten state university systems.
But the Journal says it best:
On most other issues, however, Foxx has not only swallowed the party line uncritically; she has also helped to spread it. She spouted the Bush administration's rosy talking points on Iraq even as military commanders were painting a grimmer picture. Given the opportunity to speak out against the House leadership for its woefully inadequate response to the Mark Foley e-mails to House pages, she declined. She has exploited fears and prejudices against immigrants. She has played fast and loose with the truth, including sending letters and e-mail messages misrepresenting this newspaper's editorial policies in a ploy to raise more money.
FireDogLake calls the Sharpe campaign the longest shot of all the races this election year. We now have a constant flow of letters to the editor expressing outrage towards Foxx. To come from that beginning to an endorsement from a paper like the Winston-Salem Journal is nothing short of amazing.
The shock of all 2006 shockers has happened. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure I report to you that NC-05 is now in play.