Under the Dome

May 8, 2014

Frank Roche lost his GOP primary to Renee Ellmers and he's angry

Republican Frank Roche lost Tuesday and he's not happy about it. He issued a scathing "open letter to the GOP establishment" Thursday with the message: "You're failing America."

Republican Frank Roche lost Tuesday and he’s not happy about it.

He issued a scathing “ open letter to the GOP establishment” Thursday with the message: “You’re failing America.”

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers trounced Roche taking 59 percent to his 41 percent in the primary election.

“In the 36 hours after not winning a hard run election there are many emotions that come and go: disappointment, sadness, guilt, bewilderment, frustration, and anger,” he wrote. “I’m in the frustration and anger stage. ... Note to self: U.S. Congress, proper qualifications not required.”

Roche takes aim at everyone in his letter: the GOP establishment, lefty billionaires, left-leaning media, Mark Zuckerberg, think tanks, tea party groups, local Republican clubs and local Republican Party committees.

He writes: “The establishment, with some help from one of our newest lefty billionaires and the left leaning media, helped reelect the least qualified candidate in the 2nd District Republican primary. They failed the 2nd District and America. They overstepped their pledged boundaries of neutrality during the primary and again demonstrated themselves to be part of the problem. Local petty political gate-keepers assisted their poorly qualified incumbent in ways that require they be removed from their volunteer Chairmanship positions.”

Less of a focus: his weak campaign. Roche said he raised $50,000 to get his message to voters – roughly what a typical candidate may spend to run for a town council race, not a sprawling congressional district in one of the state’s most expensive media markets. (Through April 16, Roche reported raising roughly $25,000. He entered the campaign in December, 2013.)

In the letter, he acknowledges one of his failings, saying he had “shortcomings on the ground which I take full responsibility for” but didn’t elaborate.

“We tried,” he said in the final line. “I tried. God help us. I thank all those who supported my campaign.”

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Under the Dome is your inside source on North Carolina politics and government and has been a regular feature in The N&O since 1934. Check here for the latest on state and federal government, political advocacy and upcoming elections. This blog is maintained by the N&O politics staff.

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