Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell will run for Rep. Heath Shuler‘s congressional seat in 2012 — as an independent.
Coming just two days after Bothwell withdrew from the race for chair of the Buncombe County Democratic Party, Bothwell this morning posted a link on the Scrutiny Hooligans political blog pointing to his new campaign website.
“I herewith declare my candidacy for the United States Congress in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District,” Bothwell announces on his campaign site. “This decision was jump-started by recent events in both the Buncombe County Democratic Party and Congress. The election is more than 18 months away, but it will take that kind of time to build a viable grass-roots campaign across the 13 counties of Western North Carolina. Position statements, organizing information, and all the rest will be posted here in coming days. A booklet version of the platform should be available for distribution in about two months.”
In announcing his withdrawal from the chair’s race Friday, Bothwell indicated that one motive was that “there is a very strong likelihood that I will enter a primary race in 2012, and would have to quit the post were I elected chair.” Party chairs can’t occupy a partisan elected office (Council members are non-partisan).
However, in ensuing comments on Scrutiny Hooligans, Bothwell noted that “I won’t be entering the primary.” This would mean that Bothwell is running as an independent. To get on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate in a House of Representatives race in North Carolina, Bothwell would need to submit a petition with signatures from four percent of the registered voters in the congressional district.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter