Heath Shuler Retires...or...The Importance of Voting

Heath Shuler has always been a bit of a conundrum in western North Carolina. He was a Democrat, albeit more Conservative than your average one, in a very Conservative area of the state. And like his fellow members of the “Blue Dogs” he was usually fell in line to support Pelosi and Company after much public “Discussion” that helped make him look more Conservative than he is in actuality. Now his time has come and he will be retiring at the end of this Congress. However, this is not the result of a popular uprising in Asheville even though the Tea Party is active in that area. Rather it illustrates the importance of voting and highlights one of the most overlooked results of the 2010 elections; the takeover of several state legislatures by Republicans just in time for re-districting.

In North Carolina, Republicans took control of the legislature in the 2010 elections and this has allowed them to drive Brad Miller and now Shuler from office. The Congressional delegation will be more representative of the state in general as Republicans get their chance to gerrymander. As a resident of NC-4, a district set up to be Democrat district forever, I am a beneficiary of the Republican majority as I will now be in NC-2 represented by Renee Ellmers. This is a great thing as is the retirements of Miller and Shuler. And David Price in NC-4 will be where he belongs, on Chapel Hill and Durham.

The lesson for all of you that all complaining about our potential nominee in the race for POTUS and threatening to stay home (I am looking at you Newt supporters) is to get out and vote no matter who that nominee is in November. Not only can we send Obama back to Chicago, we can extend our control over state houses and local politics which is vital as I am seeing firsthand in North Carolina.

Cross-posted at The Opinionator