Local Politics

Three vie for chance to unseat Burr in Senate

Posted February 15, 2010

— The May 4 Democratic primary is less than 90 days away, and the discourse between the three U.S. Senate candidates remains low-key.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Durham attorney Ken Lewis and former state senator Cal Cunningham are seeking the Democratic nomination to unseat Republican Sen. Richard Burr in November.

Web Only: U.S. Sen. Richard Burr on Barack Obama chances for a win in N.C. Burr has target on his back in election

Burr also faces a primary contest against Eddie Burks of Asheboro. Libertarian candidate Michael Beitler of Oak Ridge also will be on the fall ballot.

All three Democrats agree that job creation is the top priority for the winner.

"The No. 1 issue facing the country and North Carolinians is jobs," Lewis said.

"There are a whole series of important policy things to lay a foundation in the short term to get jobs growing but also make our country a stronger place for the long term," Cunningham said.

Each of the three also supports President Barack Obama's major initiatives, including the push for national health care reform.

"This is our last best chance. The way costs have gone up in the past few years, we are bankrupting America if we don't do health care right now because we are bankrupting families," Marshall said.

Having served two tours of duty in Iraq as a captain in the Army Reserves, Cunningham said he understands the latest troop surge in Afghanistan.

"The only thing I like less than having to send 30,000 additional troops, many of whom are from North Carolina, to Afghanistan is the thought of my 6-year-old son, in 12 years, going to boot camp to deal with a problem we could solve today," he said.

Despite their similar positions, each of the three is trying to stand out from the others in the eyes of voters.

"I'm not a career politician. I've spent my career making a difference," Lewis said. "My broad experience as a business lawyer and a community development lawyer and someone who's worked in the community to create jobs prepares me to lead in this moment."

"I feel this is my time," Marshall said. "The fact (is that) I've been a problem-solver and worked with some very diverse groups (and) my record of transparency is clear. That's what we need in Washington."

"Public service is noble, and it's necessary to move our country forward," Cunningham said.


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  • sillywabbitthepatriot Feb 16, 2010

    They need to wait a few years and unseat Hagan.

  • josephlawrence43 Feb 15, 2010

    Apparently the 3 challengers ( Democrats) haven't kept up with the news and public opinion--they still believe that the people of NC are ignorant of what is happening to our nation--and think that NC is a "safe" Democratic state. Nothing or no one is "safe" in that respect.

  • info23 Feb 15, 2010

    I wrote to Senator Burr not too long ago about my concerns on a piece of legislation. I received a prompt reply in answer to my question. No gibberish. He does respond.

  • affirmativediversity Feb 15, 2010

    I have always received a response from Sen. Burr's office. Whenever I've called an actual person has answered the phone. On the one occassion I left a message on voicemail MY CALL WAS RETURNED.

    Unlike Kay Hagan whose voicemail is routinely FILLED in ALL of her offices. Who NEVER has a person answering her phone (they always go to voicemail which, AGAIN, is always full). Her emails responses are entitled "no reply Hagan" which means her staff have DUMPED her emails WITHOUT READING THEM into a reply program!

  • nerdlywehunt Feb 15, 2010

    Sen Burr does NOT answer all of his call and inquires! This guy is in the pock of big business and could care less about the middle class. Out you go and good riddance!

  • james27613 Feb 15, 2010

    Sen. Burr answers his emails unlike Sen. Hagen that uses canned software to avoid the issues and never answers my questions.

    Sen. Burr is easy to contact and get the answers.

  • james27613 Feb 15, 2010

    Marshall is wrong, Congress is bankrupting families with all the fees, taxes and other regulations that force business to move jobs away from USA to foreign countries where they pay none of these taxes.

    Marshall repeats the same line that POTUS Obama reads from his teleprompter about healthcare and the deficit.

    This is our last best chance. The way costs have gone up in the past few years, we are bankrupting America if we don't do health care right now because we are bankrupting families," Marshall said.

  • 60000Feet Feb 15, 2010

    From where I sit (60,000 feet), all I see are people loosing their jobs, no viable job recovery plan from the Democrats and none of the candidates stand out. Rule #1: The government is NEVER a creator of jobs. They can only take from those that are working and re-distribute after taking their "share". The more people that are not working, the more idiotic the "government will make jobs" mantra is. If they REALLY want to create jobs they will stop SPENDING money that either the Fed or the state DON'T HAVE and tighten their belts just like the working class is having to do. That means, in case you are too uneducated to understand, that they need to put some "staff" on the unemployment roles and cut salaries like everyone else. You can start with the 700+ staff at the NC Department of Public Instruction (what do they do?). Unless you haven't heard, education is in the hands of the counties, not the state or the Fed.

  • timothycapwell Feb 15, 2010

    They each secretly hope one of the other one wins. It's not a democrat year. Thank merciful Zeus.

  • gman007 Feb 15, 2010

    If it came down to those three against Burr I'd have to go with Burr simply because I'm tired of all the lawyers messing things up in government, and all three are attorneys.