Dobbins Heights Mayor Antonio Blue has been tapped to run as a write-in candidate against U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell.
Blue’s selection was announced Wednesday night by the 8th Congressional District Black Leadership Caucus Political Action Committee.
“I will do everything in my power and will give you 200 percent, just like I did in the military for 24 years,” Blue told the group of about 35 that crowded the small NAACP building in Hamlet.
For PAC members, the decision to support someone other than the Democratic nominee was reached after Kissell told a reporter that he would not be endorsing President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Walter Rogers, PAC spokesperson and chairman of the NC Black Leadership Caucus.
Kissell was also criticized for joining four other U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday in voting to repeal Obama’s health-care law.
“The executive committee and the general membership feel that … Congressman Kissell has abandoned issues that are crucial to the survival of low wealth individual and communities across the 8th District,” the group said in a statement.
Blue, who also serves a chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party, said he will resign from that post.
“The candidate that we have chosen, a retired military person, is known on state and federal levels,” said the statement, which was read by Rogers. “He is an elected official who is fair and consistent. This man is committed to improving the lives of the people he serves and will make an excellent representative for the people of the 8th District.”
Blue has served as mayor of Dobbin Heights since 2007.
Asked if he thought a write-in candidate could win, Rogers said it was possible.
“But if (Blue) doesn’t win, he will make a statement,” Rogers said. “Not just a statement in the 8th District, but a statement all across the country where elected Democrats are voting with Republicans.”
“The message is that if you are a Democrat, be true to what you are and vote in a Democratic way,” he said.