by Sam Hieb
The Rhino endorses Phil Berger Jr. in next week’s 6th District Congressional primary runoff. John Hammer has lots of reasons for endorsing Berger, but also (not unreasonably) questions the N&R’s logic behind its endorsement of Mark Walker:
There is another factor that places Berger head and shoulders above Walker in this race, and that is electability. In the runoff Berger has outpaced Walker in campaign contributions by more than a 2-to-1 margin. The general election is coming up in November, when the Republican nominee will face a well-funded Democratic opponent. Proof of who the Democrats want to run against can be found in the News & Record endorsement of Walker. The N&R doesn’t want Walker to win in November, but the editors there know that Walker, with his limited fundraising ability and his inability to connect with mainstream Republicans, is the easier candidate to beat.
If Berger wins the runoff he is almost assured a victory in November. If Walker wins then the Democrats are going to throw money at the campaign of the Democratic candidate, Laura Fjeld, and have a much better chance of winning. If you want to see a Republican representing the 6th District then you should vote for Berger.
For what it’s worth, Guilford County Sheriff B.J Barners —who has endorsed Walker –weighs in:
“I know the relationship they’ve got and I know he doesn’t talk to Sam,” said Barnes, a friend of Page’s. “And I’ve got an issue with that. That’s not the relationship I’ve got with my DA. I’ve got a very good working relationship. I’m a Republican, he’s a Democrat, but we talk all the time and we work well together.
“I think that tells you a lot about Berger,” Barnes said. “You want someone who is easy to work with because he’s approachable, he’ll talk, and he’ll listen. That’s why I’m supporting Mark Walker.”
Berger says just look at his record. According to the N&R, “Rockingham is the No. 1 county in the state for percentage of convictions that include sentences in the aggravated range.”