Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Heath Shuler running for Congress

Various media outlets (including the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Asheville Citizen-Times, and Roll Call (subscription required)) reported late Monday that former University of Tennessee and Washington Redskin quarterback Heath Shuler has filed papers with the FEC that will birth his challenge for the seat in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, currently held by 8-term Republican Charles Taylor.

I know little about Congressman Taylor, my contacts to North Carolina's congressional delegation being limited to current Representative Sue Myrick and Vernon Robinson, who lost in a run-off last August to current Representative Virginia Foxx. From my understandings (and reiterated by Ashvegas), Taylor is a man of considerable wealth and a vicious campaigner. I have had some dealings with Heath Shuler, though. He was nothing but helpful to recent conservative campaigns in Knox County. He allowed campaigns to use his offices when additional space was needed, and I never heard of him turning down a request from a GOP candidate in recent election cycles. From my dealings with Heath, he seems like a great guy and not at all like the typical, bitter Democrat that has become the stereotype for the party here in East Tennessee. Having no problem with Heath personally, my only worry is how a good man can be led astray by his party. My preliminary fears are reinforced by several sources (including the Roll Call article) which give accounts of Heath cajoling with Democrats that many in this area would consider nefarious (Clinton, Dean, Soros and the gang at MoveOn.org). Everything I know of Heath tells me that he is a good guy, but many times in politics you are defined by the company that you keep (see Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer). Taylor will make sure that the voters of the 11th District - which trends Republican - know who is mentoring Heath. That alone may be enough to sink his chances in that district.

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