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2010 Race of the Day: Who Are You, Bob Etheridge?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

We turn today to a district that is known for its tobacco farms and colonial feel despite being near one of the fastest growing metropolises East of the Mississippi.  North Carolina’s second district was settled late: the coastal plains in North Carolina were settled after Virginia and South Carolina, and weren’t heavily populated until much later.  The area largely contains the “rural” areas of the Raleigh metro area and embraces its blue collar heritage.


Since 1996, the district has been represented by free-spending Democrat Bob Etheridge.  Etheridge had managed to maintain a low-key profile for most of his career, loyally backing the dangerous fiscal agenda of the Democrats.  He voted for the failed stimulus package, the government takeover of healthcare, and the new energy tax known as Cap and Trade.    Etheridge votes with Speaker Nancy Pelosi an astonishing 97.6% of the time.  In return for his consistent support of Pelosi’s agenda, he was rewarded with a position on the influential Ways and Means committee where that crafted legislation permitting the US debt limit to rise to an astronomical level of 12.4 trillion.

His time as a loyal lapdog to Pelosi and the Democrat leadership hasn’t just allowed Etheridge to continue voting for failed legislation.  It’s made him a true Washington insider who refuses to be questioned – he left his low-key shadows and stepped into the limelight earlier this summer when he was filmed assaulting a student who tried to ask him if he supported Obama’s agenda.   His brief notoriety brought his poor representation of the second district’s conservative values into the spotlight and, fortunately, a local leader has stepped in to run against him.


Republican nominee Renee Ellmers is no stranger to service: she is a nurse and president elect of her local Chamber of Commerce as well as a volunteer at Cape Fear Christian Academy.  As a nurse, Renee followed the debate on Obamacare very closely.  When it passed, she decided to act and filed as a challenger to Bob Etheridge, a supporter of the bill.  She’s committed not only to go beyond standing against Obamacare, though, and has pledged to find real, free-market solutions to improve healthcare nationally.

Renee will also challenge the Democrats in Congress on their out-of-control spending that Etheridge has stood behind.  She understands that simply spending more is not a realistic solution to the economic problems facing the constituents of North Carolina’s second.

Bob Etheridge’s time in Congress has been spent supporting the Democrats at every opportunity, and it’s finally time to retire him before he can vote for any more dangerous policy shifts.  The district is rated R+2 and Republicans have had a number of successful elections here: voters rejected North Carolina’s “native son” John Edwards when he was on the ballot in 2004, instead favoring George Bush, just as they had in 2000.


I hope that you’ll join Renee’s efforts to unseat Etheridge.  You can find out more about her on her website or by following her campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

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