House Primaries: Republican Establishment Notches N.C. Win With Rouzer

Business-backed incumbent in Ohio also wins while in another N.C. district, hawkish groups fail to knock off GOP Rep. Walter Jones.

David Rouzer, North Carolina District 7
National Journal
Jack Fitzpatrick
See more stories about...
Jack Fitzpatrick
May 6, 2014, 5:49 p.m.

North Car­o­lina former state Sen. Dav­id Rouzer, a Re­pub­lic­an, won his party’s nom­in­a­tion in the 7th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict Tues­day night, clear­ing the biggest hurdle between him and re­tir­ing Demo­crat­ic Rep. Mike McIntyre’s seat, while GOP Rep. Wal­ter Jones sur­vived a spir­ited primary chal­lenge in an­oth­er dis­trict.

Rouzer won 59 per­cent of the vote to Woody White’s 35 per­cent with half of pre­cincts re­port­ing at the time the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race. While the Re­pub­lic­an es­tab­lish­ment cel­eb­rates vic­tory for its pre­ferred can­did­ate in the state’s U.S. Sen­ate primary, it will also cel­eb­rate a smal­ler vic­tory in this con­ser­vat­ive House seat as well as in an Ohio dis­trict where a busi­ness-backed in­cum­bent, Rep. Dav­id Joyce, also won his nom­in­a­tion.

Rouzer raised and spent more money than White, who entered the race much later, and Rouzer got a sig­ni­fic­ant boost from three es­tab­lish­ment-ori­ented groups—the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce, YG Net­work, and Amer­ic­an Ac­tion Net­work — that spent $450,000 al­to­geth­er beat­ing up on White and boost­ing Rouzer in the fi­nal days of the cam­paign.

White had shown some trac­tion in the race and was mes­saging and run­ning TV ads crit­ic­al of House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers, sev­er­al of whom per­son­ally sup­por­ted Rouzer.

Rouzer is now highly likely to be­come a mem­ber of Con­gress. The 7th Dis­trict is Demo­crat­ic-held but con­ser­vat­ive-lean­ing, and McIntyre’s re­tire­ment at the end of the year robs his party of his unique abil­ity to draw con­ser­vat­ive votes.

Mean­while, Jones fended off a primary chal­lenge from former White House aide Taylor Griffin, win­ning the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion again in North Car­o­lina’s 3rd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict. When the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race with 71 per­cent of pre­cincts in, Jones had 53 per­cent of the vote to Griffin’s 44 per­cent.

Jones was seen as a prime tar­get for a primary chal­lenge. He clashed with party lead­er­ship and was re­moved from the House Fin­an­cial Ser­vices Com­mit­tee in 2012, and Griffin ar­gued that those clashes made Jones less able to look out for his dis­trict. Jones evol­u­tion in­to a ma­jor Ir­aq War crit­ic com­plic­ated his re­la­tion­ship with the hawk­ish side of his party. In 2013, Jones said former Vice Pres­id­ent Dick Cheney would “rot in hell” be­cause of the war.

Griffin, mean­while, fol­lowed a dif­fer­ent path than most primary chal­lengers, run­ning as an es­tab­lish­ment Re­pub­lic­an who would play nice with oth­ers in or­der to de­liv­er for his dis­trict. He touted his cre­den­tials as a Treas­ury De­part­ment of­fi­cial dur­ing the George W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, and de­fen­ded Bush’s re­cord on de­fense.

Jones en­dured a bar­rage of out­side spend­ing. Al­though Amer­ic­ans for Prosper­ity came to his aid with ra­dio ads thank­ing him for op­pos­ing Obama­care, the Emer­gency Com­mit­tee for Is­rael and End­ing Spend­ing Ac­tion Fund, a su­per PAC cre­ated and fin­an­cially backed by TD Amer­it­rade founder Joe Rick­etts, com­bined to spend more than $1 mil­lion to sup­port Griffin.

In Ohio, Joyce fended off tea party-backed state Rep. Matt Lynch in the 14th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, car­ry­ing the GOP primary with 55 per­cent of the vote to 45 per­cent for Lynch when the As­so­ci­ated Press called the race with 80 per­cent of pre­cincts re­port­ing. Joyce, who was first elec­ted in 2012, will face Demo­crat Mi­chael Wager in the gen­er­al elec­tion.

Lynch ran to Joyce’s right, cri­ti­ciz­ing him for not be­ing con­ser­vat­ive enough. But the Cham­ber of Com­merce, the Amer­ic­an Hos­pit­al As­so­ci­ation, and De­fend­ing Main Street — the su­per PAC run by the dis­trict’s former rep­res­ent­at­ive, Steven La­Tour­ette — spent hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars on ads back­ing Joyce.

On the Demo­crat­ic side of the aisle, state Rep. Alma Adams won a sev­en-way primary out­right in North Car­o­lina’s 12th Dis­trict, a safe Demo­crat­ic seat. EMILY’s List, the Demo­crat­ic wo­men’s group, dir­ec­ted money to the dis­trict on Adams’s be­half in the race to re­place former Rep. Mel Watt, who is now in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

What We're Following See More »
TIME IS ‘BEST SPENT CAMPAIGNING’
Clinton Won’t Debate Sanders on Fox News
6 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton will not debate Bernie Sanders on Fox News before the California primary next month. Sanders had already agreed to the debate. Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Clinton’s time “is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.”

Source:
TIME IS ‘BEST SPENT CAMPAIGNING’
Clinton Won’t Debate Sanders on Fox News
6 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton will not debate Bernie Sanders on Fox News before the California primary next month. Sanders had already agreed to the debate. Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Clinton’s time “is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.”

Source:
FORMERLY THE DEPT’S TOP ATTORNEY
Transportation Sec. Names Special Adviser for Metro System
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed a veteran legal insider with strong personal ties to the Obama administration to serve as his special adviser focused exclusively on fixing the Washington region’s troubled Metro system. Kathryn Thomson, who was expected to leave her job as the Department of Transportation’s top lawyer, instead will stay on as Foxx’s special adviser on Metro oversight." She'll start this week.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Much Has Trump Loaned His Campaign?
20 hours ago
THE ANSWER

"More than $43 million, although the loans are loans in name only — Trump says he has no intention of recouping the cash."

Source:
NO STAFF IN OHIO
Trump Has the Poll Numbers; Does He Have the Organization?
20 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

While Donald Trump's poll numbers are steadily climbing, he "trails far behind" Hillary Clinton "in organizing in key general-election states. Ohio ... presents both ... Trump's best opportunity to carry a big swing state and reveals his team's steep logistical challenges. After winning the GOP nomination on a tight budget with a skeletal staff ... Trump doesn't have any general-election staff in the state, and senior aides in New York and Washington haven't made contact with the state Republican Party. Efforts to recruit the state's experienced operatives who helped elect" John Kasich "have so far been unsuccessful, people familiar with the matter said." Clinton "has a small team of full-time aides in Ohio."

Source:
×