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Berger: No decision yet on U.S. Senate campaign

Posted September 3, 2013

— Sate Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said Tuesday he hasn't decided whether to run for U.S. Senate.

Earlier this summer, Berger said he would make a decision by the end of July. With that deadline well gone, Berger said he is still talking over the potential campaign with local and national Republicans alike.

"I don't have an announcement as of now," Berger said shortly after the state Senate finished work for the day Tuesday. 

If Berger were to get into the race, he would face House Speaker Thom Tillis in the Republican primary, setting up a showdown between the state's two top legislative leaders. 

Dr. Greg Brannon, a Cary gynecologist with political roots in the tea party movement, also has said he will run in the Republican primary. The winner would face Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who first won election in 2008 against then Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole. 

Over the Labor Day weekend, a few political insiders pointed to a fundraising letter in which Berger said that "besides raising money for my own re-election, I am responsible as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate for protecting our Republican majority by assisting other Republican senate candidates and members across the state." 

To some eyes, that looked like a declaration that Berger would run for re-election to his state Senate seat. 

But Berger said political watchers shouldn't read too much into that kind of letter, which is an almost pro forma fundraising pitch meant to keep the Senate Republican Caucus coffers filled.

"That's not a definitive letter," Berger said. "I continue to have in my view a responsibility to make sure that the North Carolina Senate Republicans are prepared to run for re-election."

As for the timing of his announcement, Berger observed that Hagan, who was herself a state senator in 2007, didn't announce she would run for U.S. Senate until October. Berger said he didn't expect to make an announcement in October.

12 Comments

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  • Inter Alios Sep 4, 2013

    I agree with Sally.

  • Six String Sep 4, 2013

    Yes, do run. You've done such a great job in the GA.

  • tracmister Sep 4, 2013

    Please, this may be one of the most laughable results in elections in years. Both of them (Tillis) could run in a state wide election together and not be the average canine if it ran.

  • Vote for Pedro Sep 4, 2013

    I can't look at Berger and not think he should be holding a paper bag with a pint of cheap fortified wine inside. He really should shave that mess on his face off. I hope he runs for an office that requires a statewide vote.

  • goldenosprey Sep 4, 2013

    How is this news? At this stage who cares whether Phil Berger (R.-NY) decides to run. He can't win a non-gerrymandered general anyway.

  • kdogwnc Sep 4, 2013

    The only way Berger (or Tillis) can beat Kay Hagan is to prevent North Carolina residents from voting.

  • Sally1023 Sep 4, 2013

    Run baby Run. Let the people of NC tell you what they think of you and your "leadership" I think public humiliation is in order.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Sep 3, 2013

    "Senator Berger can return to the NC Senate in 2014 and run to replace Senator Burr, who acts more like a RINO every day, in 2016.

    Labor Day is here, and I'm throwing my support behind Dr. Greg Brannon to replace Senator Kay Hagan next year. I like my tea steeped with true conservatism and rooted in the Constitution and Bill of Rights." - ajstevens0439

    :-) I admire the purity of your vision, ajs! But in the real world, neither Berger or Brannon could get elected to assistant back-up book club coordinator of the week.

  • ajstevens0439 Sep 3, 2013

    Senator Berger can return to the NC Senate in 2014 and run to replace Senator Burr, who acts more like a RINO every day, in 2016.

    Labor Day is here, and I'm throwing my support behind Dr. Greg Brannon to replace Senator Kay Hagan next year. I like my tea steeped with true conservatism and rooted in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  • Cock a doodle doo Sep 3, 2013

    * meant to add in the odds that this snow drift was in mid-August.

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