Under the Dome

US Senate candidate Chris Rey joins criticism of Deborah Ross

Chris Rey, mayor of Spring Lake, N.C. He is a candidate for U.S. Senate. Photographed on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Raleigh, N.C.
Chris Rey, mayor of Spring Lake, N.C. He is a candidate for U.S. Senate. Photographed on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Raleigh, N.C. rwillett@newsobserver.com

A second Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate is making the case that former state Rep. Deborah Ross would be vulnerable against Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr.

Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey issued a news release Monday that echoed concerns raised by Durham businessman Kevin Griffin about Ross’ record as state director for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We must examine each candidate’s record,” Rey said. “Democrats know Ross’ record will be the source of Republican attack and does not appeal to independents.”

Rey’s news release doesn’t list any specifics from Ross’ record that might come under attack.

Griffin’s campaign last week provided two old news articles as examples of potential Republican attacks. In 1997, Ross lobbied against legislation that launched the state’s sex offender registry, arguing that family members of offenders might not want their neighbors to know about domestic incidents. And in 2001, she opposed to a bill allowing public schools to display the Ten Commandments, saying displays would be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

Rey says his experience as a small-town mayor, military veteran and owner of a consulting firm would better appeal to independent voters.

“I welcome a healthy debate on the issues, our background and our experience,” he said. “As Democrats we must avoid the Republican attack tactics.”

Ross’ campaign manager responded to questions about her ACLU record last week by saying that she has “always been a strong voice for individual opportunity and freedom.”

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