Tar Heel Democrats Run From Home-State Convention

Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012 05:49 PM

By Patrick Hobin

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Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell has added his name to those who will probably skip September's Democratic National Convention — even though he would only have to go a few blocks out of his North Carolina district to attend.

The two-term congressman, who has already said he will not endorse President Barack Obama, is one of the GOP's prime targets in November's congressional election. His district has been redrawn to make it much more friendly to the Republicans, reports McClatchy.

Kissell, who voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress and opposed Obama’s health care bill, represents the 8th District, which runs from Mecklenburg County to Robeson County. His district ends just nine blocks away from the site of the convention, Bank of America Stadium, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee pointed out on Twitter.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $1.1 million in television advertising for Kissell, the Kansas City Star reported, and the National Republican Congressional Committee has allocated $1.2 million to defeat him.

Kissell was one of 17 Democrats who voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of court last week. He also voted against Obama's healthcare initiative.

Some Democrats say he is doing what he has to if he is to hold on to his seat. Others see him as a traitor to his party. “It doesn’t sit well with me at all; I will never support him again,” Ralph Bostic, former Democratic chairman in Montgomery County told McClatchy. “… He needs to change his party."

Kissell joins fellow Tar Heel Democratic congressman Mike McIntyre in refusing to endorse Obama in the upcoming presidential election. McIntyre, who will be fighting in a newly re-drawn rural district in southeast North Carolina has said for months he has no plans to endorse in the November presidential election.

"We've always been steadfast in our work for eastern North Carolina and I'm grateful because we've had Republican and Democratic friends who have supported us because they know my heart is there and it's not about a party agenda or any other person's agenda," he said.

And Hayden Rogers, a Democrat fighting the state's 11th district will also be a no-show at the convention, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. "I have no plans to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and will not be endorsing in the 2012 presidential race,” Rogers said.

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