“The Republican Party appears to be going further and further to the right,” Mintz said. “It’s really not the party for me any longer. I’m not bitter. I have a lot of friends who are Republicans.”
— Chris Mintz, former head of the Wake County (NC) Republican Mens Club, who has switched parties and is now challenging State Rep. Russell Capps of Raleigh

This is what the NC Taliban fears most — a schism between centrist Republicans and the bible beaters in the Tar Heel State. It’s a beautiful thing…(N&O;):

State Rep. Russell Capps of Raleigh will be getting a most unusual Democratic challenger next year — the president of the Wake County Republican Mens Club. Chris Mintz, a Raleigh financial planner, is not only resigning as club president, but is changing his registration to Democrat.

Mintz, 30, said he decided to leave the Republican Party because he thinks it is too focused on social issues rather than on economic issues. He also said the GOP is becoming less tolerant of different viewpoints. Mintz said he thought his political views were pretty much in the middle, where most North Carolinians are.

Mintz has worked in numerous Republican campaigns, most notably the gubernatorial campaigns of Richard Vinroot in 1996 and Patrick Ballantine in 2004.

He’ll have to face Dem Duke University fund-raiser Ty Harrell, who has announced that he will run for the Capps seat. Harrell served as finance director for Erskine Bowles’ botched U.S. Senate campaign in 2002 (against ‘Empty Wig’ Dole) and was Howard Dean’s southern regional finance director in 2004.

Frank Williams, acting chairman of the Wake County Republican Men’s Club club is smarting, lol. Look at the wild spinning…

I was shocked to read in this morning’s edition of The News & Observer that our club’s Chairman has resigned his post and is switching to the Democratic party. As someone who has known Chris Mintz for nearly ten years, I have a difficult time believing that anyone who truly stands for the principles for which he has always claimed to stand can ever feel at home in the Democratic Party. Sadly, I can only reach one conclusion: that this decision was made on the basis of political opportunity, not principle.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding