The downside of drawing safe districts is that you get unsafe candidates. Like Republican House candidate Debra Conrad, who told a group in Winston-Salem: “Unfortunately, the more money you raise and give to the speaker, the better committee assignment you get.”
Green reported: “Conrad’s remark prompted a titter of discomfort at the table. One person suggested: ‘Off the record?’ Another person seated at the table uttered the phrase ‘pay to play’ — a common characterization of how business was once transacted in the NC House under the leadership of now disgraced Democratic Speaker Jim Black.”
Her audience seemed to have more political savvy than she did about what to say – and not say – publicly.
Speaker Tillis’ office quickly denied that what she said was true. But this is the danger of redistricting: You elect candidates who embarrass you and your party.
The coming bumper next crop of new legislators may give investigative reporters a lot to work with.