Former Rep. Brawley To Challenge Gov. McCrory
Governor Pat McCrory has been ramping up his re-election campaign over the past week, but it now looks like he’ll face a challenge from within his own party. Former state Rep. Robert Brawley (R-Mooresville) said Wednesday he’ll run against the governor in the March primary for the Republican nomination.
Brawley had said recently he planned to run for his old House seat. But on Wednesday, he announced on Facebook and a new campaign website that he’ll now challenge McCrory. He said voters “deserve leadership that will look out for their interests, not deep pocketed special interests.”
Brawley served in the House from 1981 to 1998, when he retired. He decided to run again in 2012, and won back his seat. But in 2014, he lost a primary to current Rep. John Fraley, whom Brawley said was backed by party leaders who wanted to unseat him. Brawley has spoken out against party leaders over the past three years. He has joined opposition to toll lanes on I-77 north of Charlotte and been a frequent critic of former House Speaker and now US Senator Thom Tillis.
Candidate filing began Dec. 1 and continues through Dec. 21 for both local and statewide offices.
In other news about the governor’s race, Attorney General and Democrat Roy Cooper made his candidacy official Tuesday, when he filed at the State Board of Elections. Cooper has already begun campaigning, and held a campaign kickoff rally in October in Nash County, where he lives.
McCrory, a Republican from Charlotte, hasn’t filed yet, but held a similar rally last week in Kernersville.
Democrat Ken Spaulding of Durham also plans to run for governor. He’ll face Cooper in the primary.
McCrory and Cooper are expected to easily win their party’s nominations and to battle it out in the November election. A new poll out Wednesday says the two front-runners remain neck-and-neck.
Public Policy Polling of Raleigh said its latest poll has McCrory ahead by 44 percent to 42 percent. That’s pretty much been the case all year, the pollsters said.
“Going back to February the two have been within 3 points of each other every month. … That's four polls with McCrory up slightly and 4 polls with Cooper up slightly. There's little doubt this is the premier Governor's race in the country for next year,” the polling firm said in a press release.
Cooper leads Spaulding 54 to 10 among Democrats, according to the latest poll.
Dec. 9, 2015, Public Policy Polling press release on governor's race.