Under the Dome

Chris Rey welcomes Deborah Ross to US Senate race

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Rey issued a news release Thursday welcoming former Rep. Deborah Ross to the race. But Ross hasn’t formally announced her candidacy yet.

Rey is the mayor of Spring Lake, near Fayetteville, and the first Democrat to formally challenge Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Ross recently quit her job at transit agency Go Triangle because she said she’s considering a Senate bid.

Rey’s campaign said Ross has invited to Democrats to participate in a video announcement Thursday afternoon at Finch’s, a downtown Raleigh diner. She did not immediately return a phone call Thursday afternoon.

“I knew when I got in this race, I wouldn’t be the only Democrat running,” Rey said in the news release. “I feel strongly that my vision for the future of North Carolina is the right vision, and I look forward to competing to win the Democratic nomination.”

Other Democrats are also considering a run, including Rep. Duane Hall of Raleigh and Sen. Joel Ford of Charlotte. Ford said Thursday that he’s still weighing the pros and cons of a campaign.

“I want to make sure I’m in a position to be successful,” he said.

As the only formal candidate, Rey is already criticizing Burr and highlighting his work leading a healthcare nonprofit in a video released Thursday.

“Through the non-profit, I’ve done something that Sen. Richard Burr has failed to do: We have worked to provide access to healthcare to thousands of families,” Rey says in the video.