Wednesday, October 03, 2007



Last year I met Drew Lumpkin when he was managing the congressional campaign of Roger Sharpe in North Carolina's very Republican 5th CD in the extreme northwestern part of the state. The district is mostly rural, overwhelmingly white, and gave Bush two-thirds of it's vote in 2000 and 2004. Their representative is Virginia Foxx and if you view her horrendous voting record through ProgressivePunch's new "Chips Are Down" widget, you find that there have been only 12 Republicans with perfect zeros, members so partisan than they have never once stepped away from reflexive rubber stampism on a tough issue. Virgina Foxx is one of those 12 (along with the worst reactionaries in Congress like Patrick McHenry, Tim Walberg, Steve King, and Michele Bachmann, the puke lady). Roger put up a feisty battle and garnered 43% of the vote, a healthy start in this red of a district. But he isn't running again. Drew e-mailed me and told me that Democrats in NC-05 have rallied around Roy Carter instead. He isn't working in the Carter campaign but I asked him to give me a brief rundown about how the race looks. Here's his report:

Plain and simple, Virginia Foxx is a disaster for our district. Her voting record is embarrassing, seen most recently in her vote against the child health insurance program. Because, however, her work ethic and name recognition are formidable, especially in a gerrymandered Republican district, it will take a lot to unseat her. Yet, a campaign gaining traction and momentum before the Democratic primary has a chance to capitalize on the widespread discontent within this district. Currently, only one man has stepped up to the plate: Roy Carter. 

I had the chance to grab dinner with him a couple of nights ago. There I wanted to get a better feel for him and ask him several questions to introduce him to the people of the district-- and those willing to listen. Frankly, I was quite impressed. Two themes run constant throughout our discussion: the need for Representatives to mirror the conscious of his/her constituents, and to protect, nurture, and develop our younger generations.

Let me give you a brief biography for some larger context. Roy Carter grew up in a poor household, son of a farmer and a factory worker. His family was a politically involved family, teaching him the importance of public activism. As such, Carter’s love of politics is a lifelong thing. He laughed saying that if he didn’t read the political news page first, it was read after the sports page. He was the first person in his family to get a college degree, and afterwards, he decided that he wanted to get into the teaching and coaching professions. He has taught and coached football throughout Western North Carolina, lastly serving in Ashe, Wilkes, and Surry counties. He currently resides in Ashe County with his wife, Patricia. They have three children.

What skills, talents, and qualities do you have to represent me and the people of this district?

Currently, there is little trust between American citizens and their representatives in Congress. He is a man of deep integrity, and his honesty and sincerity will represent the conscious of the district. In logical application, he says that he will not sell his soul to big industries and lobbies like Big Oil and Big Pharma. He says that he can also offer his heart and his strong work habits. Being a teacher and a coach saps a lot of his time, but he manages to work diligently each and every day to get the Democratic nomination in this district, to which I can personally attest.

We have heard it said that public service is one of the noblest callings, but Carter fully embodies this principle; it isn’t a hollow cliché with Carter, as his coaching and teaching underlie service to others.  He admits that he never made any money teaching and coaching but takes great pride in affecting the lives of young people. This inner calling has lead Carter to seek the Democratic nomination for the 5th District.

What is wrong with our current representation in the Fifth District?

According to Carter, Foxx shows, "a total lack of concern and conscious for the people of the 5th District." He started listing votes in which Foxx voted against the well-being of the district, but in truth, my pen couldn’t keep up: ethics, environmentalism, government accountability, the new child health insurance program, and the like. In a time of bitter partisanship, Carter says that Foxx votes straight down party lines: "Foxx does not have a bipartisan bone in her body." He believes that there is a give and take in order to achieve the proper legislative ends for the people of the district, but Foxx is incapable of doing so. Not only does she have the inability to reach across the isle, Foxx is the loudest cheerleader to President Bush, despite his abysmally low ratings.

Should you become the Democratic nominee, how will you win this race against Virginia Foxx? 

I want to keep Carter’s answer short and general here, because if I was to write everything he said, I would give away a strong portion of his game plan. Simply speaking, however, Carter believes that it is his job to convince people to believe in him, and I hear he does this quite well, as he excited the hard-working Watauga Democrats.

Every person running for public office believes they need a strong grassroots campaign to achieve victory. In like mind, Carter believes the veracity of this principle. He, however, is in the midst of setting up strong campaign structures within each of the 12 counties in the 5th district. Again, Carter doesn’t just spout campaign clichés, he backs them up in practice. By running a smart campaign in the netroots and doing all of the "modern things" (i.e., facebook, myspace, etc.), Carter believes that he can reach a new and emerging demographic, one especially targeting younger demographics. Finally, Carter mentioned the need for several innovative fundraisers and events to galvanize the people of the district. I asked for specific examples to these, and let me just say, I am enthused with the direction of his campaign.

What would your legislative priorities be if you find yourself becoming the next Representative of the 5th District? 

Carter is not naïve enough to believe that he would get a lot of bills passed as a freshman Congressman-- how refreshing an answer-- but he does recognize that any Democrat will have much more power in the House of Representatives than a representative in the minority party. With this in mind, Carter believes that there are some issues in which he can’t be silent. He promises to be a loud and audible voice to get out of Iraq as soon as humanly possible. As he says, you can’t help but cringe when young people die over in Iraq. Second, Carter will not be silent about education issues.  People in our district are generally unable to save enough money to send their children to college, so for example, we must expand student aide for people to go to college. Remember, Carter has dedicated his life to the education of youth. Finally, he promises to be a voice and an advocate for community building and economic development within our district. Jobs are our number one export, yet Foxx believes that our economy is strong and thriving. 

Since, Boone is in this district, I don’t have a problem using this metaphor: if Appalachian State can upset Michigan in the Big House, Roy Carter can beat Virginia Foxx in the 5th District. Truthfully, I think this district is primed and ready for another such upset!

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At 4:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Act suprised, I love Foxx to. She's a sweet woman why do you have a picture of her like that. Remember I'm a liberal Republican, so have mercy.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Drew said...

I am not really sure how anyone can love Foxx. She voted against Katrina relief, against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, SCHIP, against getting disaster relief for the farmers in North Carolina, ... I can go on and on and on.

At 4:25 AM, Blogger stumpy said...

/me is joining Team Carter

At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an honor and a privilege to be a candidate for Congress in the 5th district of North Carolina. I want to thank Drew for introducing my campaign through DownWithTyranny and I want to thank all of you for being interested and involved in an election that will shape the future of our district. As a candidate, I am excited by the opportunities for honest dialogue and open discussion that blogging will provide. In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to continuing this dialogue by getting to know your needs and concerns through frequent blogging on this site and others of its kind. I want to earn your support in this campaign because I value your input, your energy, and your fresh ideas. If you like what you have read here about my background and my vision for the future, I ask that you visit my interim website ( we will be launching a new and improved, more detailed site very soon. ) to learn more about how you can become involved in helping our campaign ( I hope you will encourage your friends to do the same. I am in this race to win and with your help and support, we will work together to give our students a quality education, make affordable healthcare a reality, and bring America’s brave sons and daughters home from an ill advised war. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Truly Yours,

Roy J. Carter

At 5:40 PM, Blogger becky said...

I am thankful to have someone who represents my views running for the 5th district. The political compass of Ms. Foxx is polar opposite of my own. So I wish you a most successful campaign. You have my vote.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness sake! Those who have voted for the Mouth seem to be asleep at the wheel. If you have kids, aren't rich, have a decent bone in your body, care about health care for those in need, care about children, you will recognize that nothing she does support you. Roy Carter's lifelong service as a coach and teacher and his love of kids would make him an outstanding replacement for the Foxx. Wake up, folks!

At 7:55 AM, Blogger James Rivers said...

Virginia Foxx is a rock solid politician who represents the rural residents of Northwestern North Carolina. If she was as "wicked" as you presume then how is it that she is elected time and time again? With that line of thought you are saying the folks voting for Virginia Foxx are stupid and being duped somehow? That they shouldn't have somehow voted for her? It is interesting to watch the liberal element weave lies that ultimately undo them. Take the Voting Rights Act Virginia Foxx voted against. I and many, many other citizens would have done the same thing. This act literally says the voting districts in a majority of counties are racist and not trustworthy of operating polling locations. This dates back to the civil rights movement. So you want you polling places monitored by the federal government while the polling places in most other states aren't monitored? This is exactly why Virginia Foxx will win. She believes the common citizens of North Carolina are able to do from themselves without Big Brother stepping in. Roy Carter will vote to raise taxes for entitlement programs (insurance programs that you and I will have to pay for which includes illegal aliens). It is also rumored that Carter will vote for the assault weapons ban. That ought to go over real well here in North Carolina!!! He has a long way to go, and quite frankly Virginia Foxx is already there. How many NRA benefit dinners has Roy Carter attended? Uh huh. Virginia Foxx attended those events 25 years ago and still does. She doesn't pander to the decent citizens of Northweat North Carolina, she IS a decent citizen of Northwest North Carolina.

James Rivers

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most uninformed and ignorant rants I have ever read.

At 4:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the 5th district.Your assessment is correct. She has been a disaster. Anyone happy with the status quo, is either wealthy or just not paying attention

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am happy to see I am not the only one who can not stand the partisianship of Rep. Foxx. She voted against every item that would better the working class, help fund college education, help war vets... I could go on and on.. Anyway, best of luck Mr. Carter. I am on board and proud to place my vote for you!!!

At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WS Journal 10/20/08 Carter supports pathway to citizenship for those illegally in my country. As a business man with a large tree farm can Mr. Carter verify he's hiring only individuals with the proper visa's and/or citizens of the US of A? Does he support E-Verify?


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