Notes from the Triad campaign trail….

*U.S. Senate candidate candidate Greg Brannon–who is challenging incumbent Sen. Richard Burr in the Republican primary—stumps in Burr’s hometown of Winston-Salem, challenging the senator to “have the guts to declare war” before putting boots on the ground to fight the Islamic State.

Brannon was responding to Burr’s comments on ‘Capital Tonight’ that ground troops should be on the table as part of the effort to defeat ISIS.

*Meanwhile in Greensboro, 6th District Rep. Mark Walker and his primary opponent Chris Hardin engage in a debate sponsored by Conservatives for Guilford County. As the News & Record reports, the night’s “testiest exchange”centered on the House of Representatives’ “Freedom Caucus”:

Walker said he’s close to several members of the caucus and has their support. But Walker said he has declined to join the group so he could vote his conscience, not how someone else told him to.

“The answer there is no, folks, in case you missed that. He’s not a member of that caucus,” Hardin said. “He thinks it’s very important, and it’s a leading light, so to speak, but he didn’t bother to join. …”

Walker: “Why would you want me to join if you just told the crowd they weren’t that good?” A few people in the audience chuckled.

Hardin: “… You’re the one who talked about what a good job they did and how great they were. If you were concerned about the voters in this congressional district … I think you would have listened to all of us and not voted for John Boehner.”

Walker: “So you agree with me that I shouldn’t be in the Freedom Caucus? Is that right? Is that correct?”

Hardin: “I agree you’re difficult to deal with sometimes, like right now …”

Interesting that Hardin said that while “you can question many things, but my conservatism would not be one of them,” he also characterized himself as a “Southern blue-dog Democrat.” I’m not sure that a candidate portraying himself as an extinct species is going to gather many votes in a Republican primary.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...