Under the Dome

Roche running against Ellmers again

Frank Roche is back in the game, ready to take on U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers for a second time in the Republican primary next year.

Ellmers defeated Roche in last year’s primary by taking 59 percent to his 41 percent of the vote. That prompted Roche to issue a scathing “open letter to the GOP establishment”, saying it helped elect the least-qualified candidate.

Roche, in a brief interview on Raleigh radio station 106.1 FM WTKK this week, said he can overcome that loss and his anemic fundraising in the last campaign, thanks to “a powerful national team.”

The Brietbart.com conservative website reported this week that Roche has signed up Tidewater Strategies, a Raleigh-based political consulting firm run by Reilly O’Neal, who helped run Greg Brannon’s campaign in his unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate last year.

Roche said Ellmers has let down conservatives more than once since she’s been in office.

“She’s a progressive,” he said. “She’s gone off the reservation.”

Roche is a financial market economist who ran twice unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for Congress and for state treasurer.

Roche makes it a three-way primary so far. Jim Duncan, outgoing chairman of the Chatham County GOP, has also announced.