Zack strikes back at Berger Jr.

Greensboro City Councilman Zack Matheny hit back at Sixth District GOP front-runner Phil Berger Jr. today by issuing a press release criticizing the “smear campaign” conducted by an out-of-district PAC funded in part by Berger Jr. donors.

In a press release, the Matheny campaign says that Berger Jr. has “failed to gain voter support in North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District.”

“In response, Berger Jr.’s special interest backers are dumping even more money into the race, buying ads attacking fellow Republican candidates,” the release states. “These are exactly the type of tactics that current Congressman Howard Coble asked all Republican candidates vying for his seat not to participate in.”

Keep Conservatives United, a political action committee based in Wake Forest, has spent more than $150,000 on advertisements attacking Berger Jr.’s opponents in the race. The PAC, via its founder Bob Harris, has repeatedly endorsed Berger Jr.

“It is unclear why this group and their contributors are so interested in this race,” the Matheny campaign said. “Whenever special interest groups are involved in campaigns there is always the fear that they are buying a candidate rather than supporting one.”

More here and here.

Movement in the Sixth District race

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.”

Phil Berger Jr. highlights his conservative credentials in a glossy direct mail piece.

Phil Berger Jr. highlights his conservative credentials in a glossy direct mail piece.

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.

IMG_20140322_134035_120Interesting as well is a final dig at the Affordable Care Act, with an offer to ship a free “Stop Obamacare Sign” that is a Berger for Congress sign with a “Stop Obamacare” header.

Race for the Sixth

Moving deeper into primary season we will begin to increase the attention we give the Republican primary race to replace Rep. Howard Coble, who has represented the Sixth District as long as anyone can remember.

Democrats believe the district is competitive, but that remains to be seen. What is most likely is that the winner of the Republican primary in May will have a solid chance of becoming the next congressman from the central Piedmont region.

Zack Matheny launches jobs-oriented campaign website.

Zack Matheny launches jobs-oriented campaign website.

Greensboro Councilman Zack Matheny announced his jobs plan this week with a website devoted specifically to the issue. The plan is standard Republican fare, with calls for lower taxes and less regulation. Matheny touts his experience as a business owner and growth-oriented member of the city council.

“After speaking with Howard Coble, I realized that I could be more effective as a member of Congress and that was a large factor in my decision to run for his seat,” Matheny stated. “When elected, I will bring my regional approach to job creation to life for everyone in North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. I will not rest until everyone who wants a job can find one — so that everyone who still believes in the American Dream can have the opportunity to see that dream fulfilled.”

That seems like a tall order given the region’s struggling labor market and the constant threat that big companies in the area could be bought and moved or otherwise lured away.

Phil Berger Jr. continues to form his campaign team. The Rockingham County District Attorney announced this week that Paul J. Norcross will serve as Chief Political Advisor for the campaign.

Norcross founded Global Supply Solutions Group and co-founded Phoenix Academy, a charter school in High Point. Berger said that Norcross has resigned posts as the Chairman of the High Point Republican Party, the Executive Director of the Guilford County GOP, and the Regional Chairman of the North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools to join the campaign.

“There are serious challenges facing our world, our country, and our state,” Norcross said. “We desperately need a serious person in Washington that we can trust. Phil Berger will keep his promises and protect our interests. He is the only candidate in this race with the qualifications, resources, and background necessary to win in November.”

Campaigns that want our attention here at Yes! Weekly should add editor at yesweekly dot com to their media distribution lists. We will be scheduling one on one candidate interviews soon.