Field notes from a North Carolina runoff and a reparations hearing
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 79
There is always a special congressional election somewhere. For the purposes of this particular Political Theater podcast, it is the upcoming Republican primary runoff in North Carolina’s 3rd District.
This is the seat that became vacant when longtime GOP Rep. Walter B. Jones died earlier this year. The April 30 GOP primary ended with two candidates heading to a July 9 runoff: state Rep. Greg Murphy and political newcomer Joan Perry. (The winner will face Democrat Allen Thomas, the former mayor of Greenville, in a Sept. 10 special general election to serve out the remainder of the 116th Congress.)
While both GOP candidates are doctors — he’s a urologist, she’s a pediatrician — and self-styled conservative Republicans who are utterly, totally loyal to President Donald Trump, the race has quickly become a divisive one for the national party.
On one hand, many House Republican leaders and the 13 GOP women in the chamber see an opportunity to add to their female ranks in a safe GOP seat with Perry. On the other hand, the House Freedom Caucus sees a chance to add to its club with Murphy.
In addition to this battle of the sexes and Capitol Hill proxies, CQ Roll Call senior political writer Simone Pathé, on a recent visit to the 3rd District, learned about Trump Derangement Syndrome, how health care shapes a race between two physicians and taking some time to listen to the frogs.
A Juneteenth reparations hearing
Once considered such a long shot that Dave Chappelle used it as grist for an iconic skit on “Chappelle’s Show,” reparations for the descendants of slaves is now a matter of public debate on Capitol Hill.
The recent Juneteenth (June 19) hearing at the House Judiciary civil rights subcommittee featured testimony from advocates for reparations, most prominently writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose 2014 essay in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” changed the dynamics on the debate.
“This is not the most comfortable position for me to be in. I consider myself a writer. I consider myself a journalist. It’s my hope to continue that work, but I felt the issue was so important I had to speak to it,” Coates said after the hearing, where he appeared with other such luminaries as New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and actor Danny Glover.
Heard on the Hill’s Clyde McGrady covered the hearing, and he takes us on an “emotional” journey through what happened that day, as well as the broader implications for the debate going forward.
- North Carolina runoff becomes proxy war for D.C. interests
- Runoff for safe Republican seat in North Carolina divides the conference
- 3 things to watch in the first special election primary of the year
- Brooks wants more Republican women to run in 2020 — even if she won’t
- More GOP women want to run for the House. But why now?
- Republican woman makes North Carolina runoff in race for Walter Jones’ seat
- Club for Growth backs a woman in 17-person North Carolina primary
- Ta-Nehisi Coates wants you to stop laughing about reparations
- Danny Glover on reparations bill: ‘Policy is moral, democratic — an economic imperative’
- As Democrats line up to debate, the GOP is regressing
- Celebrating the Righting of a Wrong