#NCSEN match-up finally set: Tillis (R) will take on Hagan

Thom Tillis

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis

I watched the results as they came in last night, and it was clear once the State Board of Elections site got their “display side” website errors fixed that the NC primary for the right to challenge Hagan in the fall wasn’t going to be much of a contest:

N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, who had full-fledged support from the state and national Republican establishment, beat back challengers favored by tea party activists and Christian conservatives to win the right Tuesday to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.

In Tillis’ victory speech, delivered in front of an American flag at an uptown Charlotte hotel, he wasted no time in framing the fall campaign as a fight to not only retire Hagan, but also strike a blow against President Barack Obama’s policies and wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats.

“Kay Hagan and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid are nothing but an echo chamber for President Obama’s worst ideas,” Tillis said. “If we want to change the mess of Obamacare, we have to change our senator.”


With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Tillis, who lives in Huntersville, received 45.67 percent of the vote. He needed 40 percent to avoid a July 15 runoff that would have forced him to spend precious time and money that he’ll now get to spend trying to unseat Hagan.

For Brannon supporters, this loss is understandably a bitter pill to swallow.  Brannon was the Tea Party favorite here, had the backing of popular Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee, popular conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, and the conservative group Freedomworks. They campaigned hard, but in the end primary voters picked Tillis – who had the backing of Karl Rove, NC Governor Pat McCrory, former FL Governor Jeb Bush and even had a late endorsement by Mitt Romney.

Hopefully the wounds this primary inflicted on Republicans in this state will heal soon and everyone will unite, because we need to defeat Kay Hagan and make both Obama’s and Harry Reid’s jobs a lot more difficult – which the GOP can do with a majority in the US Senate:

The winner this fall could tilt the partisan balance in the closely split U.S. Senate, and North Carolina’s importance in the national picture is readily apparent in the nearly $20 million spent by outside political groups in recent months to influence the race, particularly voters’ opinions about the federal health care law.


But, to beat Hagan, Tillis will first have to unite a state GOP that remains a reflection of the fissures dividing the national party. The combined vote totals for Brannon and Harris nearly matched Tillis’ total.

“The factionalization within the state GOP is still there,” said Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College. “The big question for Tillis: Can he consolidate that half of the Republican Party and get them energized for November? He’ll have their votes – if he can get them to the polls.”

Tillis reached out to his primary opponents during his speech Tuesday night, saying he and they “are on the same team – the team to beat Kay Hagan.”

Neither Tillis nor Brannon would have been my first choices to take on Kay Hagan, but Tillis is the winner and more than anything I want the woman responsible for helping craft and shove through Obamacare – which has cost this state jobs and caused nearly 500,000 people to lose their insurance – out of office.  Senator Hagan is also staunchly pro-abortion, and has the backing of abortion groups like Emily’s List.  North Carolina is a pro-life state, and I hope Thom Tillis doesn’t hesitate to point that out when Hagan tries the tired, stale war on women tactics her campaign staff are already launching.

Onward we go.

Finally here: It’s primary day in North Carolina

Vote here

Sign at my polling place this morning.

After what seemed like forever, North Carolina voters go to the polls today to choose candidates for the fall elections.  The race that is attracting the most attention here, of course, is the one for the US Senate – where several Republican candidates are vying for the chance to try to defeat incumbent Senator – and key crafter of the Obamacare bill – Kay Hagan (D) in the fall.  NC General Assembly House Speaker Thom Tillis and OB-GYN Greg Brannon have consistently polled the highest in most polls taken over the last few months, but because there are so many candidates there is speculation that there may be a run-off because in order to win the primary here you must have at least 40% of the vote.

In any event, I cast my ballot today in the US Senate primary and the NC12 primary (where I know the GOP winner will have little hope of winning in the fall – Mel Watt’s district, FYI) at a local elementary school just as some of the kids were getting off their buses.  One little girl said hello to me as she peered into the voting room (gym) with big eyes. It was so precious – and a refresher to anyone who may have forgotten that children are the ones whose futures we’re voting to protect.

Lord willing, I’ll be on later this evening to live-tweet polling results from NC as they come in on several races.  Polls close at 7:30 ET. You can follow me here, and in the event I tweet too much, I’ll tweet here for NC results.  Here’s the state’s official link for voting results.

More bad news for #NCSEN’s @KayHagan: Youth interest in elections is declining

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) faces a tough re-election battle this year.

The Politico reports this morning that a key voting bloc crucial to Democrat election and re-election plans is increasingly losing interest in voting, which could spell disaster for the left – especially in key midterm election years like this one (bolded emphasis added by me):

A new poll holds some grim omens for Democrats in this year’s midterm elections: young voters have dwindling interest in the November races, and the ones who do plan to cast ballots are more likely to vote Republican.

According to the poll, conducted by Harvard’s Institute of Politics and released Tuesday, just 23 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 say they will definitely vote in the midterms. That’s an 11 percent drop from the last time the survey was taken — five months ago — and the lowest recorded number since the poll was established more than a decade ago.

Democrats, who are waging an uphill battle to protect their Senate majority and to win control of the House of Representatives, are trying to mobilize the coalition of young, minority and female voters that helped President Barack Obama win a second term in 2012.

But midterm elections are typically dominated by a group of older and whiter voters, making the challenge a steep one for the party, which has been on the defensive thanks in part to Republican attacks on Obamacare and a flood of spending by outside conservative groups.

According to the poll, interest among the so-called “millennials” is even lower than at a similar point in the 2010 midterms, when Democrats suffered a blowout. According to Harvard IOP’s February 2010 survey, 31 percent of voters under 30 said they would definitely be voting.

The falling youth interest in the elections correlated with their rising cynicism about politicians and declining trust in government institutions — the latter reaching historic lows for the survey.

This comes on the heels of a report yesterday from the New York Times’ “Upshot” blog which pointed out that the Democrats’ worst potential turnout problem in 2014 is North Carolina, where incumbent Senator Kay Hagan (D) – incidentally a key Senator in crafting Obamacare, which caused 473,000 North Carolinians to lose their health insurance plans – is facing an uphill fight in her battle to win a second term to the US Senate.   The article also reminded that the key reason Hagan won in 2008 by 8 points was due entirely to the youth vote:

When young voters stay home, the state reverts to its Republican past and the more conservative bent of the South. And judging from the last midterm election, the plunge in youth turnout could be huge. Eighteen- to 25-year-olds accounted for a mere 3.9 percent of voters in 2010, down from 10.4 percent of voters in 2008, according to the secretary of state’s office. Older voters jumped from 17.5 to 26.1 percent of those turning out.

Granted, 2010 was probably a worst-case picture for youth turnout; there wasn’t a competitive statewide contest and it was a bad year for Democrats. But nonwhite turnout also dropped, even beyond that caused by lower youth turnout. Combined, the consequences are potentially devastating for Democrats. Mitt Romney’s modest victory margin of 2 percentage points would have turned into a 10-point rout if the 2012 electorate had been as old and white as it was in 2010.

That’s a big problem for Ms. Hagan. She originally won her seat in 2008, when she won by a decisive 8 points. But her entire margin of victory came from voters under 30, who gave her a staggering 71 percent of their votes and represented about 17 percent of the electorate. If the voting public had been as old and white as it was in the 2010 midterms, Ms. Hagan’s share of the vote would have fallen beneath 50 percent; she still would have won, helped by a libertarian candidate, Chris Cole, who appeared to erode the vote for her Republican opponent.

No matter who Hagan’s eventual GOP opponent turns out to be, the road ahead for her is going to be up and down, winding, and brutal – in spite of her campaign ca$h advantage and increased helped from outside spending groups/SupePACS like the pro-abortion Emily’s List. All the money in the world, all the dodging, weaving, and deflecting – and seriously lame attempts at ignoring the issue –  can’t and won’t erase the fact that she shares in the responsibility of foisting the so-called “Affordable Care Act” onto the American people – specifically, the voters of North Carolina who she claims to represent.   Jobs have been lost, full time status for many has been bumped down to part time, and as I noted earlier hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians lost health insurance plans they liked – all of this because of Obamacare.   Add  the growing youth dissatisfaction with politicians and the political process in general to this and you get a super-high hurdle Hagan may not be able to successfully jump over on the way to the finish line come November.

Stay tuned.

NYT: Midterm turnout problem may hit #NCSEN’s @KayHagan the hardest

Barack Obama, Kay Hagan

President Barack Obama is greeted by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. as he arrives at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Monday, June 13, 2011, in Morrisville, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On top of the Obamacare issue, which is having a major impact on vulnerable Democrat incumbents in battleground states, the NYT’s Upshot blog notes that Democrats are also facing a serious potential midterm election turnout problem  – one that may impact Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) the hardest:

Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina seems as if she should be part of the firewall in the Democrats’ bid to retain the Senate, considering that incumbents tend to win re-election in states that are competitive in presidential elections.

But Ms. Hagan is far more vulnerable than she appears at first glance. North Carolina might be the state where Democrats suffer the most from low midterm turnout. The state is divided between older, culturally Southern and conservative voters, and younger, more diverse and more liberal voters, especially around the Research Triangle and Charlotte.

In presidential elections, those two groups fight nearly to a draw. In midterm elections, when older voters turn out at much higher rates than younger ones, the Republicans have a big advantage.

If Ms. Hagan cannot broaden her political appeal, it is not clear she can win a midterm election in North Carolina.

The gap between North Carolina’s younger (under 30) and older voters (over 65) is among the most pronounced in the country. In 2012, North Carolina’s seniors voted for Mitt Romney by 29 points, more than twice his 12-point advantage nationally among older voters, according to exit polls. By contrast, President Obama won North Carolina’s young voters by a 35-point margin, better than the 24-point margin he won nationally. This 64-point gap between young and old North Carolinians was nearly twice as large as it was nationally. Lower youth turnout, then, is twice as damaging to Democrats in North Carolina than it is nationally.

The article also points out that Hagan won NC in 2008 by 8 points – a margin of victory that in its entirety “came from voters under 30”, and that President Obama, between 2008 and 2012, “lost more ground among younger voters than any other age group.” Make sure to read the whole thing – it’s a report that will give the Hagan team serious headaches and nightmares, if they haven’t already identified the issue themselves.

Break out the popcorn! ;)

On “#EqualPay” issue, #NCSEN’s @KayHagan is quite the hypocrite

Barack Obama, Kay Hagan

President Barack Obama is greeted by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C. as he arrives at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Monday, June 13, 2011, in Morrisville, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

If you check out Senator Kay Hagan’s campaign Twitter feed today, you’ll see she’s joining other Democrats nationwide in pretending there’s a gender wage gap that favors men over women. Here’s one of her tweets on the topic:

This manufactured issue is, of course, being brought up now by President Obama and other elected Democrats at this time because it’s an election year, and vulnerable Democrats up for reelection like Senator Hagan – whose approval numbers have been dropping rapidly here for the last several months – are increasingly desperate to take the focus off of the disastrous Obamacare bill itself and its glitch-filled roll-out. Hagan, you may recall, helped craft the so-called “Affordable Care Act”, which lead to nearly 500,000 North Carolinians losing health insurance plans they liked – plans they were routinely told by the Senator that they could keep. So understandably, she wants your eye off the ball – hence, jumping on the “Fair Pay Act” bandwagon.

Putting to the side the fact that the Equal Pay Act was already signed into law in 1963, and the fact that the “gender wage gap” is, in reality, a huge myth created by Democrats in order “win” the women’s vote by playing the victimhood card, if we go by the Senator’s own metrics concerning this supposed “issue” – it turns out she’s a big hypocrite on the issue of “equal pay”:

As President Barack Obama and the Democrats prepare to honor “Equal Pay Day,” Senate Democrats continue to pay female employees significantly less than their male counterparts, according to an analysis of Senate salary data in Democratic offices.

Senate Democrats plan to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act on Tuesday, though the vote is largely symbolic given the unlikelihood that the bill will be brought to the floor of the Republican-controlled House.

Democrats have a lot of work to do in their own offices, according to an analysis of salary figures compiled from secretary of the Senate reports covering the fiscal year 2013.


The analysis shows female staffers in Democratic Senate offices were paid just 91 cents for each dollar paid to male staffers. The average salary for a woman was more than $5,500 below the average salary for a man.

Men received higher average salaries in more than two-thirds of the 43 Senate offices analyzed.

Many of the senators with the largest pay disparity between men and women are facing reelection battles in 2014.


Numerous senators up for reelection have an especially large gap between male and female salaries:

  • Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.): $15,343 higher average male salary;
  • Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.): $9,783 higher average male salary;
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.): $6,267 higher average male salary;
  • Sen. Mark Pryor (D., Ark.): $5,799 higher average male salary;
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.): $3,189 higher average male salary.

This is not a new problem for Democrats. A previous Washington Free Beacon analysis of the fiscal year 2011 found that Democratic Senate offices were paying female staffers far less than their male coworkers during that year as well.

Women were also paid less than men at the Democratic National Committee, in Obama’s White House, and on his 2012 presidential campaign.


And not only are Hagan and many of her fellow Democrats – including our celebrity President himself – failing big by their own standards on the “equal pay” issue, but even the major media outlets that are normally reliably in Democrat corners on this topic have caught on to their duplicity:

When you’re losing CNN and the New York Times on this, you know you’ve got problems, Obama White House. :)

We’ll just call this “War On Women” – Democrat style. Nice to see the mainstream media finally catching on. Much easier to destroy phony liberal narratives like the ones Senator Hagan and her party try to foist onto the American people when the journalists actually do their jobs in investigating White House claims for a change.

NC Elections Board: Nearly 36,000 voted in NC & one other state in 2012 (UPDATED)

Voter ID

The battle continues.

This is a huge story that developed over the course of the afternoon here in North Carolina.  I followed developments via Twitter and my mouth dropped open with each passing Tweet as to what the NC State Elections Board was telling a Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee earlier on issues of double voting, people being registered in more than one state, and …. dead voters whose voting record showed action after they had, um, died.  Bryan Preston summed up over at PJ Tatler (link via Phineas):

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls. Initial findings suggest widespread election fraud.

  • 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
  • 35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
  • 155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.

The second point is key, as double voting is election fraud under state and federal statutes. Punishment for double voting in federal elections can include jail time.


In addition to the above, the crosscheck found that more than 13,000 deceased voters remain on North Carolina’s rolls, and that 81 of them showed voter activity in their records after death.

North Carolina officials are now calling for tighter election security.

“Bbbut I thought there was no such thing as voter fraud – and in the event there was concrete evidence, it was “usually just a small few – not worth implementing raaaacist voter ID laws!” – me, channeling NC liberals after hearing the news.

It’s fascinating, really.  As the information was being tweeted out, liberals who have  a vested interest in getting NC’s supposedly “toughest voter ID laws in the nation” tossed off the books on the grounds that they’re “racist” or something didn’t stop to consider anything but the fact that this seriously underminds their case.  Keep in mind, they don’t even know if most of the people who double voted were Republicans or Democrats. In their mind, the law is racist and voter fraud doesn’t exist (except when the GOP wins elections, of course). Perhaps they assumed it was mostly Democrats who fraudulently voted in two different states and seek to change the direction of the debate.  After what the left has gotten away with here and elsewhere over the last several decades come election time, can you blame them for going on the defensive? :)

Anyway, I suspect there will be much more to come on this story very soon as both “sides” of the debate jockey for position, with the left trying to “debunk” the report as fast as they can.  And it goes without saying that the North Carolina mainstream media, reliably left wing, is “urging caution” on the NCSBE’s findings because the local “real” journos, of course, are the ultimate decoders and deciders of what’s definitively true and not in North Carolina politics – in spite of the fact they’ve been notably partisan in the past against Republican efforts to curtail voter fraud.

Stay tuned!

Thursday AM Update: Per the NC Voter Integrity Group:

In other words, it may not be the full 36,000 that double voted – but many will fall under that category, in addition to the nearly 800 whose names, birthdates and last four digits of social security numbers matched up in two different states.. We’ll find out more as the investigation by the NC Elections Board continues.

FAIL: In #NCPOL Dem Mayor scandal, CNN uses pic of GOP Governor


LOL. In the midst of all the national coverage my fair city was receiving last night on the Charlotte Democrat Mayor scandal, there was this (via multiple Twitter sources, including @WilsonShow):

CNN oops

Um, that’s our GOP GOVERNOR, CNN, not Charlotte’s corruptocrat Democrat Mayor. Duh …

Now, Gov. McCrory (R) used to be Charlotte Mayor, but that was several years ago. We’ve had two elected Democrat Mayors since then – Anthony Foxx, who is now Obama’s transportation secretary, and Patrick Cannon, who resigned last night.

I’m sure this wasn’t intentional on CNN’s part. Nope, not at all:-?

#NCSen: Pro-abortion group Emily’s List forms SuperPAC in NC to help @SenatorHagan

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) faces a tough reelection battle this year.

Get ready for the  next round of “war on women” demagoguery. Bloomberg News reports that embattled Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) will be receiving some more Super-PAC help soon as the pro-abortion group Emily’s List has launched a political action committee here in North Carolina specifically to aid her in her reelection fight:

Emily’s List, a Washington group that advises and funds the campaigns of Democratic women who support abortion rights, has set up super-political action committees to independently aid candidates in North Carolina and Georgia.

And there are Democratic women who support abortion rights running for the Senate in both states: incumbent Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Michelle Nunn in Georgia.

The committees, “North Carolina Women Vote!” and “Georgia Women Vote!”, were created this week and can raise funds in unlimited amounts to independently aid candidates like Hagan, who’s seeking a second term, and Nunn, who formerly led the volunteer-service organization Points of Light.

“Georgia Women Vote will seek to educate women voters about the most pressing issues facing Georgia families in the 2014 election,” Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for Emily’s List, said in an e-mail. Emily’s List has emphasized issues like equal pay.

In North Carolina, Republican groups have targeted Hagan for defeat in a state that President Barack Obama lost by 2 percentage points in the 2012 election. Americans for Prosperity, a limited-government group founded by industrialists Charles and David Koch, has run ads in the North Carolina Senate race more than 5,500 times, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG.

Since she wasn’t quoted in the piece, I suspect the Senator – who is on record as decrying “special interest” aka”dark money” in politics – had no comment on the “dark money” groups that have emerged to assist her.  No surprise there.

While I’m not happy that liberal groups are upping their ground game to rally around Hagan, what will be good about this Emily’s List NC launch is that it will highlight Hagan’s little known pro-abortion record in a Southern state that is still reliably pro-life.   The group will, of course, characterize Hagan’s stance as “pro-women’s health” while predictably denouncing whoever her eventual opponent is as a proponent of “waging a war on women”, but that’s easy enough to debunk as long as those opposed to Senator Hagan – including her eventual opponent – stick to the facts about her record and not allow militant feminists and their like-minded allies in the local and national mainstream media to set the narrative and narrowly frame the debate.  Also, it goes without saying that the eventual GOP nominee needs to make sure to be prepared for the inevitable “abortion in the cases of rape” question.  No more Todd Akins, please.

Obamacare is going to be the central issue in the North Carolina Senatorial race like it will be in many other key battleground states as Democrats attempt to maintain their hold on the US Senate for the final two years of President Obama’s time in office.  Understandably, Kay Hagan doesn’t want to talk about it.  Nor do her supporters. So don’t underestimate the ability of so-called “women’s rights” groups like Emily’s List to try to take the heat off of Hagan’s deciding Obamacare vote by working to shift the focus of the election from the job-killing legislation to a debate on “war on women”  issues, a tactic that has played well for the left in states like Virginia.   The key here for people who want to see Hagan out of office this year – and I count myself among them – is to be prepared to push back and push back  hard.   Starting now.  Keep Obamacare as the Priority Issue.  At the same time, be ready to accurately discuss Hagan’s history on abortion. Don’t allow her nor Emily’s List-type groups to get away with distorting her record on either. The best way to neutralize left wing talking points is to effectively counter them before they get started full strength so they can’t gain much traction in the long run.

I’m ready, North Carolina pro-lifers.  Are you?

Culture of Corruption – Charlotte edition: Dem Mayor charged w/ bribery, theft (UPDATE: CANNON RESIGNS)

Patrick Cannon and Anthony Foxx

Then-Charlotte City Councilman-now-Mayor Patrick Cannon (l) and then-Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (r) – now Obama’s Transportation Secretary – in happier times.
Image via PraiseCharlotte.com

Huge news out of Charlotte today:

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested Wednesday on public corruption charges, with the FBI alleging he took tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash delivered in a briefcase last month to the mayor’s office where he also solicited $1 million more.

In return for the money, trips, hotel rooms and access to a luxury SouthPark apartment, Cannon promised to help agents posing as potential commercial investors with zoning, parking and other city-related issues.

According to officials, Cannon turned himself in to federal marshals after learning of a warrant for his arrest. He was immediately taken before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler of Charlotte.

Cannon, a Democrat, was charged with theft and bribery after the FBI sting operation, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bond, pending indictment, which could come as early as next week. The court file shows Charlotte attorney James Ferguson is representing Cannon.

If convicted on all charges, the 47-year-old mayor faces up to 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. He remains mayor until he either resigns or is convicted, according to city officials. The case is still being investigated, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Cannon is the longest-serving elected official in Charlotte, having joined the city council in 1993. He is the region’s highest-ranking official to be charged in a corruption case since former N.C. House speaker Jim Black of Matthews, also a Democrat, pleaded guilty in 2007.

Cannon’s arrest follows a four-year investigation, which stretched from a Las Vegas resort to the mayor’s office on the 15th floor of the Government Center, which Cannon has occupied for only five months.

You can read the federal complaint against Cannon here.   Governor Pat McCrory (R), who was Mayor of Charlotte for a number of years, had this to say earlier today after the news broke:

The former 14-year Charlotte mayor spoke to Cannon for a roughly an hour at 10 a.m. Wednesday about the ongoing saga involving control of the Charlotte airport, just a couple hours before his arrest. The news came as a shock, he said.

“I’m shocked, I’m saddened, I’m angry – about the allegations, about the impact that has on a city I dearly love,” he said.

“I’m heartbroken about what’s happened and I’m angry at the same time because it’s someone I’ve known for a long period of time and I love this city,” McCrory said in an interview outside an event in Raleigh. “This city has had an incredible reputation for a long, long time about its high ethical standards. The city does not deserve that type of behavior.”

McCrory has known Cannon for 30 years. His brother Phil was Cannon’s “Big” in the Big Brother’s program; Cannon was a groomsman in his brother’s wedding. McCrory said he helped teach Cannon how to swim at age 13.

“He was very close to me and my family,” he said. “I’m just extremely disappointed and angry.”

The arrest and charges against Cannon bring to light some interesting questions: Will he be the only one charged locally? Or were there others who we’ll learn about later?  Will he step down? He hasn’t given any indication of yet that he will. And why has former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx – also a Democrat, who now serves at a national level as Obama’s Transportation Secretary – refused to comment?

Needless to say, news of the allegations against Cannon and his arrest today come at a very inconvenient time for NC Democrats who remain severely fractured after a series of high-level embarrassments, scandals (flashback!), leadership battles, and money issues so much so that Senator Kay Hagan is bypassing the state party in her re-election bid here and instead is will use the Wake County Democrat party HQ as her reelection hub.  I suspect Cannon will decide to not step down and instead stay on as Mayor while this thing plays out in court.  The case is still under investigation but if the trial starts before the election this year he may face increasing behind-the-scenes pressure from Democrats both at the city and state level to leave office so they can try and contain the damage.

Grab the popcorn and, as they say, stay tuned.

Updated – 8:05 PM: And just like that, Cannon has resigned:

Story here. As to who takes over the Mayor’s chair:

City Manager Ron Carlee tells NBC Charlotte that Cannon’s resignation is effective immediately. Mayor Pro-tem Michael Barnes will take over immediately in the interim until city council appoints a city councilmember as the new mayor.

Still wrapping my thoughts around this. Cannon was Mayor for all of 114 days. And he was an elected official on the City Council while some of the alleged bribes allegedly took place, and knowingly ran for Mayor with that in mind. Talk about stupid!