Under the Dome

Former GOP Senate candidate Greg Brannon launches political nonprofit

Dr. Greg Brannon, candidate for U.S. Senate in the North Carolina Republican primary election, stands with family members while conceding the race to Thom Tillis, speaking to supporters at The Architect Bar and Social House in downtown Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
Dr. Greg Brannon, candidate for U.S. Senate in the North Carolina Republican primary election, stands with family members while conceding the race to Thom Tillis, speaking to supporters at The Architect Bar and Social House in downtown Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. AP

Former U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon touched off a wave of speculation late Wednesday when he posted a video filmed in front of the governor’s mansion and promised a “big announcement” Thursday.

But speculation about Brannon challenging Gov. Pat McCrory in the Republican primary proved unfounded.

On Thursday, he announced he’s launching Organize for Liberty, a 501(c)4 nonprofit “dedicated to encouraging and protecting constitutionally-limited government, individual sovereignty, and the inalienable rights of the individual.”

Nonprofits set up under 501(c)4 are “social welfare” organizations that can’t spend more than 50 percent of their money on politics. But unlike Super PACs, they’re not required to disclose their donors.

Brannon, a Cary obstetrician, finished second in the 2014 Republican Senate primary, losing to Thom Tillis.

In Wednesday’s cryptic video on his Facebook page, Brannon criticizes the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory, saying they’ve been “exposing their true colors.” He offers no examples.

“Blind faith to a party leads to destruction,” he says, “and destruction of our representative republic.”

At the end of the video, Brannon points to the governor’s mansion and says “let them know we’re back.”

That choice of backdrop led many on social media to speculate he might be running for governor. Brannon then tweeted “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” to a trio of political observers discussing his potential run. For the uninitiated, that string of characters symbolizes a shrug on the internet.

It’s unclear if Organize for Liberty will be involved in state or federal politics, or both. A new video Brannon posted Thursday only shows scenes of Washington, D.C.

“It has become overwhelmingly apparent to me that we need an army of grassroots activists to fight back against the big government sell-outs in both parties,” he wrote in a Facebook post accompanying the video.

The group is seeking volunteers and donors and plans to launch a weekly podcast hosted by Brannon.

The confusion leading up to Brannon’s announcement even involved N.C. Republican Party leaders. The party’s new executive director, Dallas Woodhouse, tweeted that Brannon appears to be starting a Political Action Committee.

But Brannon launched the Liberty Action Now PAC back in February, according to an announcement he posted at the time.

Brannon has struggled to raise money recently. He’s been attempting to launch a TV show called “Constitutional Path To Liberty.” A Kickstarter campaign for the show back in August fell $11,000 short of his $12,000 goal.

  Comments