In addition to his first-in-the-nation ICaucus backing for the 2012 elections, Dr. Dan Eichenbaum earned the endorsement of the Asheville Tea Party Political Action Committee (ATPAC) for the Republican nod for the NC 11th Congressional District.
Since incumbent Democrat Heath Shuler has said he will not seek re-election, political observers consider the race for the NC 11th seat wide-open. Republican chances for victory are increased because the newly redrawn district contains less of the heavily Democrat city of Asheville.
Eichenbaum was the only one of the eight declared candidates in the Republican NC 11th primary to complete the ICaucus process. ICaucus is not a third party. It is an independent national organization that only endorses candidates after a rigorous vetting process. Candidates must answer a questionnaire on their positions and values, submit to a background check, undergo an interview by a panel of involved citizens that is submitted to iC Affiliate Tea Party groups to scrutinize and then vote.
Jane Bilello, ATPAC chairwoman, said her group was happy to once again support Eichenbaum. “He shares the same values of individual rights, Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets that both ATPAC and ICaucus consider sacred.”
Bilello also made clear that ATPAC would not endorse any candidate who has not been through the ICaucus vetting process. “Winning a party primary will not automatically earn our endorsement,” she said. “Unless a candidate has earned ICaucus approval, he or she won’t get the support of ATPAC’s boots on the ground.”
Eichenbaum, a Murphy ophthalmologist and long-time conservative activist, is seeking the Republican nomination for the NC 11th seat for the second time. Supporters simply call him “Dr. Dan”. In 2010, a swap of less than 100 votes would have forced a primary run off election against winner Jeff Miller, a Hendersonville smallbusiness owner.