RALEIGH — With the election now nearly three weeks past, some issues still remain up in the air and some stories remain untold.
Here’s a look at a few:
Meanwhile, GOP state chair Tom Fetzer has indicated that the party may challenge both the Glazier-Warner race and another Cumberland County race in which Democratic state Rep. Dianne Parfitt beat Republican Johnny Dawkins by 109 votes. The issues could end up before the legislature, which the state constitution gives authority to settle disputed elections. To their credit, Dawkins and two Democrats who lost close races – state Rep. Lorene Coates and state Sen. John Snow – don’t seem interested in going down this road.
Fetzer and GOP lawyer Tom Farr seem to have forgotten lessons from 2004, when legal challenges by both a Republican, state schools superintendent candidate Bill Fletcher, and a Democrat, agriculture commissioner candidate Britt Cobb, resulted in the voters‘ preferences ultimately being upheld. In the process, Fletcher and Cobb took very public beatings in the press.
Six years ago, rifts within the party had grown so wide that some party insiders privately worried that then-U.S. Senate candidate Richard Burr might be damaged by using Shumaker as a consultant. Shumaker had worked extensively for former House Speaker Harold Brubaker and then-House Co-Speaker Richard Morgan. Pope and Morgan were involved in a very public feud, fueled in part by Morgan’s power-sharing deal with former Democratic House Speaker Jim Black.
Among the consultants who worked this year on the Pope-led effort, Real Jobs NC, to unseat incumbent legislative Democrats: Paul Shumaker. Pope wouldn’t say how many times the two men huddled in the same room to plot strategy. He summed up his view of the situation by noting, “I do not hold grudges for life.”