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Blue America: More Blue For NC With Larry Kissell


Please join me in welcoming Larry Kissell back to FDL.  He was one of our Blue America candidates in the 2006 election cycle, and lost his race by a scant few hundred votes.  He has already announced his candidacy for the seat in 2008, and we are thrilled that he has come by to talk with everyone here this morning.  As always in Blue America threads, please stay on topic and be polite.  Any off-topic conversations should be taken to the prior thread.  Thanks!  — CHS

In a squeaker this past November, Larry Kissell lost his bid to represent the NC-8 by a mere 329 votes — a very slim margin that illustrates the point perfectly that every vote counts and that get out the vote efforts are crucial to candidate success in every state, every district in the nation.  That Larry pulled within a little over 300 votes of his opponent — Robin Hayes — is a credit to his hard work and dedication on the campaign trail, and to his wonderful candidacy, because the district is traditionally very conservative.

I know we really ought not play favorites in the Blue America races that we showcase for you guys, but Larry was one of the candidates that I was pulling for in a big way.  His chat with us on FDL back in June highlights why, Larry said at one point:

What folks in my district talk about are the kitchen table issues that impact their daily lives. They want a Congressman willing to stop all the bad trade deals ruining our economy, a strong advocate of education and something finally done about high energy costs with a significant investment in alternative energy.

You can see why we like him so much, can't you?

In Howie's write-up for that day, he highlighted a number of things about Larry and his opponent, but one thing really stuck out for me — Howie linked up a number of essays that Larry had done for his campaign website. Usually you click through those and find a lot of wishy-washy, rinsed through the political spin cycle manipulation. Not with Larry. His writing was a straight-forward examination of the issues, and a frank discussion of the difficulty at coming to solutions for a lot of them, but still proposing avenues to look into for the future.

Being honest with your potential constituents about who you really are and what you honestly stand for?  Now THAT is leadership.

As you guys are well aware, campaigning is not only hard work, but it is very expensive these days.  And Larry is carrying quite a bit of campaign debt from the 2006 cycle — as he tries to keep momentum going for a run in 2008.  From Larry's press release about running again next time:

The fight for the future of this District is too important to postpone another day. That's why I'm running for Congress in 2008 starting right now.

After today's recounts, I offer Congressman Hayes a belated congratulation for his victory now that the votes have been counted.

When I started my run for Congress I said it's not about who you are or how much money you have, it's about what you stand for. The folks who voted for me knew I stood with them.

And while the 2006 election is officially behind us, I recognize that the future is already upon us. My vision of the future is simple, help those who have been pushed aside by the Washington politicians and special interests.

The Kissell campaign could use any help you are able to give with campaign debt. You can donate here, if you have the extra funds to do so. But more than that, they are so grateful for all of the support that our Blue America readers have given them — in donations of time and campaign work, as well as funds — and they wanted to come by today not just to talk about the future candidacy, but to also say thanks to all of you.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com