Filing for the 2008 Congressional elections does not begin for another five months or so, but that has not kept Larry Kissell and his team from advancing toward securing the nomination. Starting the day after the 2006 election results were final for the 8th District, ardent supporters in our 10 counties have been organizing more and more for the re-match between Larry and Robin Hayes. Stoking the flames of partisan passion for Kissell are a myriad of friends and bloggers from around the Nation who have rallied to the cause here in the 8th.
Several factors that will help Larry immensely in 2008, in my opinion and in no particular order:
He's more organized (as will be the county, district and state parties on his behalf once the nomination is secured).
He's right on the issues for the Eighth Congressional District, as he was in 2006.
He's raised much more campaign money early on than in his previous race.
He only lost to a 4-term incumbent in 2006 by 329 votes or so, a fact which shows Larry can win.
He has the adamant political and financial support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the strong support of the NC Democratic Party, which has highlighted Larry every chance it could at political events, rallies, and in the media for months and months.
He will be running in a Presidential election year when the Democrats nationally and in the State are leading in polls for the White House and the Governor's mansion.
He is running against a wounded Robin (Hayes) who is now in the minority party in Congress and can't rely as much on the largesse of the RNC or the RCCC or even the White House because of their minority status and the fact that President Bush is at an all-time record low level of support in the polls - which makes most Republicans around the country avoid even the mention of George W. Bush as they continue their march toward 2008.
And, he's just plain ol' Larry Kissell ... who hasn't changed a bit from the person who first filed in 2006.
Notwithstanding, there is the occasional rumor or blip on the radar screen that another Democrat may run as well. To date, no one has personally verified to me that he or she plans to file other than Larry. And until someone does, I will only reference Larry in blog posts about the 8th District.
My intuition tells me that Larry will be the nominee and in November 2008 he, like former Congressman Bill Hefner 34 years earlier, will defeat an incumbent GOP Congressman.