Raleigh – Dan Forest’s announcement landed with a thud yesterday, both in North Carolina and in top Republican circles in Washington. While Forest’s launch was muddied with questions of why he’s announcing an “exploratory” committee when that doesn’t exist in the state, Republican Governor Association Executive Director Dave Rexrode didn’t even mention him in an interview with Politico the day after he launched:
Anyone on your side jumping to challenge North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in 2020?
There are a couple others that have reached out to us, who are exploring it. They’re obviously not ready to take that step. But there are several folks who see this as a great opportunity, who feel it was a missed opportunity to hold it four years ago against Gov. Cooper, who isn’t really known for being very active
Not only did RGA not mention him, they said that anyone announcing is “not ready” yet.
That Dan Forest isn’t even on RGA’s radar begs the question of whether national Republican are actively recruiting someone else and whether Forest – brash culture warrior, champion of HB2 – is too extreme to win in North Carolina.
“Dan Forest immediately had his launch undercut by his own party, which is either unexcited by his candidacy or actively looking for someone else,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “Dan Forest is too extreme for North Carolina – and apparently for national Republicans as well.”