After months of posturing and grassroots efforts, it looks like the media campaign in the race for the Republican nomination in the Sixth Congressional District is kicking off.
First today in the inbox was an email from Greensboro City Councilman Zack Matheny announcing a rally at the NewBridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro. The campaign event is set for March 29 and features family friendly kids events and free hotdogs. But the political kicker is the news that incumbent Rep. Howard Coble will be in attendance.
“Congressman Coble and I will share a few words with the crowd …,” the message states in part.
Coble is normally coy with his alliances and especially endorsements.
When reached by phone Saturday, Matheny said he did not expect an endorsement.
“What (Coble) is wanting people to know is that this is an important race and he cares about it and he hopes that others will,” Matheny said. “He is raising awareness for Republican candidates and the race as a whole.”
Coble has stated that he is not endorsing anyone in the race, Matheny said, but the councilman expressed his gratitude for the appearance of the veteran congressman who announced his retirement earlier this year.
“I respect Howard tremendously and he’s been a mentor to me for as long as I’ve been around,” Matheny said. “Howard is a friend and a mentor and somebody that I want and strive to be like as a representative. So it means a lot.”
In the physical mailbox was a glossy mailer from Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. Considered to be a front runner with Matheny and grassroots favorite Mark Walker, Berger touts his Christian faith and values that guide him every day. In addition to his faith, Berger highlights his support for Second Amendment rights and “our right to own and carry firearms”, his lifetime membership of the NRA, his 100-percent pro-life stance and opposition to “all federal funding or support for abortions.”
Berger also highlights his leadership in the passage of North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment.
Also of note is Berger’s mention of being a “lifetime North Carolinian”, perhaps a dig at Walker and others who are not natives to the state, which may be a deciding factor for some grassroots voters in such a crowded Republican field.