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Line of GOP Challengers to Brad Miller Begins to Form

It’s only been six days since a draft North Carolina Congressional map was released by the GOP-controlled state legislature, but vulnerable Rep. Brad Miller (D) has already picked up several challengers.

The Associated Press reports that former Winston-Salem City Councilman Vernon Robinson will run against Miller in 2012 in the 13th district, which would grow substantially more Republican under the new lines. Robinson lost to Miller in 2006, capturing only 36 percent of the vote. He garnered some national attention during that race for his controversial campaign ads.

Tea-partly-aligned businessman Nathan Tabor told supporters in an email Friday that he was “moving forward with plans to run for this seat.” Tabor is the chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party. Both Robinson and Tabor ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in the 5th district in 2004. Now-Rep. Virginia Foxx ultimately won the open seat that year after beating Robinson in the GOP runoff. 

Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. is also pondering a run against Miller next year, the AP reported.

Meanwhile, a Miller spokeswoman said her boss is planning to seek a sixth term. “The Congressman intends to run again, but it’s too early to tell if the new 13th district will survive a court challenge,” LuAnn Canipe wrote in an email Thursday.

While 40 percent of voters in the current 13th district cast their ballot for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election, 56 percent would have voted for McCain in the 13th under the proposed lines.

Republicans see Miller’s seat, along with those of Democratic Reps. Heath Shuler, Larry Kissell and Mike McIntyre as key pickup opportunities in the Tar Heel State in 2012.

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