Larry Kissell Joins Blue Dogs

Posted April 18, 2012 at 4:17pm

The Blue Dog Coalition expanded its ranks today with the addition of two-term Rep. Larry Kissell.

The North Carolina Democrat brings the group’s membership to 25, although the fiscally conservative coalition will see a handful of its members retire after this year. Reps. Heath Shuler (N.C.) and Mike Ross (Ark.), the group’s co-chairmen, and Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.), the whip, are all retiring.

In a statement, Kissell said, “I’ve always said I’m not much of a joiner, but I believe that a strong moderate presence is needed, and that’s why I have joined the Blue Dog Coalition.”

The Blue Dog Coalition has historically attracted Southern Democrats, who have used the group’s cachet to appeal to voters back home. Kissell faces a tough re-election in his Charlotte-based district this year. Roll Call named him among the 10 most vulnerable incumbents this election cycle.