Every four years, each political party in North Carolina has to come up with a slate of politicians to run for the numerous statewide positions up for grabs: Governor; Lt. Governor; Secretary of State; Attorney General; State Treasurer; Commissioner of Agriculture; and four other statewide officials. The number of open offices makes the recruiting of quality candidates difficult, but the great news for Democrats in '08 is that our bench is much deeper than the Republicans.
More below the flip...
The Democrats with high name recognition that will probably run for a statewide office are:
--Beverly Perdue [Lt. Governor; most likely running for Governor]
--Richard Moore [State Treasurer; must likely running for Governor]
--Roy Cooper [Attorney General; announced that he will run for AG again]
--Elaine Marshall [Secretary of State; no indication as to possible run yet]
--June Atkinson [Superintendent of Education; no known announcement yet]
--Mark Basnight [Senate President; no announcement yet]
--Dan Blue [Former (and possibly future) Speaker of the House; no announcement of a run for statewide office]
And now the Republicans with high name recognition who look likely to run for statewide office:
--Patrick Ballantine [loser of Governor race in '04; no indication that he is running again]
--Richard Troxel [Secretary of Agriculture; shows no sign of wanting to hold a different office]
--Fred Smith [State Senator; please, please run Fred]
I am sure that there may be a couple of other semi-candidates that will be scraped together who will be just competent enough to fill a slot on a ballot, but the Democrats will clearly have the advantage in name recognition and experience as we gear up for '08. Oh yeah, and that thing about the voters booting Republicans out of office en masse just a couple of weeks ago cannot help matters.
The two concerns going forward is that the Democrats appear to be burning one of their two top candidates if Perdue and Moore both pursue the Governorship and Republicans currently in the US House may feel like dropping down to the state level now that they are stuck in the minority party. However, it is still clear that we are starting the '08 statewide cycle head and shoulders above the Republicans.