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Recently I blogged that, if Elaine Marshall gets in the Senate race, her candidacy should give pause to Ken Lewis and Cal Cunningham.
The reverse is also true.
Yes, Lewis and Cunningham are both unproven unknowns. But don’t overestimate how well known Marshall is. Or Richard Burr, for that matter.
In recent weeks, I had a chance to meet and eat (separately, of course) with Lewis and Cunningham.
Both are impressive men. Both have good stories to tell. Both are the kind of energetic, idealistic young candidates that either political party would want to have.
Lewis, who is African-American, worked hard for President Obama last year. He has a foot in both the black church/political world and the corporate world. Cunningham served one term in the legislature and volunteered to serve as an Army lawyer in Iraq. Both are corporate attorneys. Both have some good early support.
Lewis struck me as having a better grasp on his message now. Also, he seemed more set on running – period – whereas Cunningham seemed to be angling for the DSCC’s anointment.
Here’s another of the Lessons I Learned From Jim Hunt: All six times he ran for statewide office (five wins, one loss) Hunt never dilly-dallied about whether to run. Not for him the ego dance of maybe-I-will-maybe-I-won’t. When he did that dance (1986 and 1990), he was delaying the announcement he would not run.
No, when Hunt ran, he ran – hard. From day one. Anybody else thinking about running knew that they would have to go through him.
We’re now in the campaign-before-the-campaign. Lewis may force Cunningham – and Marshall, too – to decide early whether they want to fight hard for the nomination or hold back in hopes the DSCC will clear the field for one of them.
I wouldn’t advise them to wait too long.


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3 comments on “Ken and Cal

  1. -1 says:

    Ken and Cal both would be great Senators. I personally feel that the race is in their hands. Elaine, think is just dipping her toe in the water. Ken is in and I’m 95% sure Cal is in. Honestly if Cal is going to get in this race he really should announce pretty soon. He is missing out on a lot of money. Time is money!

  2. Huh? says:

    I honestly hope that Elaine Marshall goes for the seat. Unlike both Lewis and Cunningham she has name recognition and a proven record. She can win and if she does win she has the experience we need in Washington. I would like to see the other two back away, move a little slower, and build up their resume. They are young, have a lot going for them and their futures are bright. A failed bid to unseat Burr would certainly knock them off track in the long run. Elaine has won some and lost some. She is a war horse with a good shot at beating Burr.

  3. -1 says:

    I agree with Pearce – People need to just put their cards on the table now. I guess it is “politics” to wait for DSCC approval, but if you want to serve, then serve. If not, then let it be known. I commend Mr. Lewis for stepping up, especially since he seems to be less known than the other two discussed here.

    I was curious about what I could find on Mr. Lewis. I googled him and a lot of BoA “Ken Lewis” came up…lol. But once I got through the stuff, this guy does seem like a promising and talented guy candidate. I was surprised that he raised almost 110K in a month. I just finished reading a bluenc interview with him, and he seems to be very sharp with a strong message. Apparently, they will delve into the more substantive issues in tomorrow’s write-up. But I digress…

    Ms. Marshall and Mr. Cuningham really should let us (the voters) know what’s going on so we can start preparing to take Burr’s seat next year…(still so proud of my state for going blue in 2008)

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