When a wingnut like Doug Clark at the Greensboro paper says Republican Patrick McHenry has a serious challenger, you should sit up and listen. And that's just what Clark says today about Daniel Johnson. Thanks to Ed Cone for dragging this one up.
Not much has been reported about Johnson's political positions, although the HDR quotes an area Democratic leader as saying he holds moderate-to-conservative views typical of the 10th District. The 10th has been solidly Republican for decades. Jim Broyhill, then Cass Ballenger, held the seat before McHenry.
But Democrats are getting smarter in their strategies in Republican territory. They're not going to win with liberal candidates. Their lone North Carolina gain last year came in the 11th District where Heath Shuler defeated Charles Taylor. Shuler holds very conservative views on many issues and probably makes a lot of Democrats in progressive Asheville uncomfortable, but winning in politics requires trade-offs.
I can't predict how this congressional race will shape up, but it looks like Democrats have a candidate in Daniel Johnson with proven courage and character. If he doesn't align himself with his party's Nancy Pelosi wing, the 10th District's moderate voters, like my mom, will give him a very close look.
The Nancy Pelosi wing? Which corner of right-wing world is Doug Clark living in? Daniel Johnson will do just fine being a mainstream Democrat. It's progressives like me he'll need to steer clear of.