Fresh off a loss to incumbent Richard Burr in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Greg Brannon announced Monday that he will enter another Republican primary – this one against Renee Ellmers for a U.S. House seat.
“Congresswoman Ellmers first ran as a tea party conservative,” Brannon said in a news release Monday. “But the John Boehner machine co-opted her almost immediately.”
Brannon, a Cary obstetrician, also tried to channel the anti-establishment mood among many Republicans in the March primary last week. He received 25 percent of the vote in the four-person race, finishing second to Burr’s 61 percent.
But since the lines of North Carolina’s U.S. House districts were redrawn in February after a court battle, the primaries for those races were pushed back to June 7 giving candidates like Brannon a second chance to run for office.
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Ellmers, who represents the 2nd District, was already facing a serious challenger in fellow incumbent George Holding, who announced he would run against her instead of seeking re-election in his former district, the 13th.
Another Ellmers opponent who has run against her from the right, Frank Roche – who received 41 percent of the vote when Ellmers defeated him in the 2014 Republican primary – announced he would drop out of the race Monday morning, citing Holding’s entry into the primary.
An hour later Brannon announced that he would enter the primary, noting that the redrawn district includes much of his patient base. The 2nd District now covers much of suburban Wake County plus Harnett, Franklin, Nash and parts of Johnston and Wilson counties.
“The establishment is a tough and well-funded foe, but the grassroots will prove even more formidable ultimately,” Brannon said.
Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran