According to the Raleigh News Observer backgrounder, Renee Ellmers is a registered nurse who ran a practice and a wound clinic with her husband, a general surgeon. Ellmers had previously been involved in local civic groups, but only became politically active during the summer of 2009 as a result of the debate over Obamacare. Ellmers and her husband traveled around North Carolina with Americans for Prosperity and spoke to groups about the ill effects they believed Democratic proposals for health care reform would have.
Ellmers then decided to run for the Republican nomination to represent North Carolina’s Second Congressional District, a seat that had long been held by Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge. What possessed her? “I’m running for Congress because I’m a mom and I’m very afraid of where our country is going and where the current administration in Washington is taking us,” Ellmers said, but there must be more to it than that..
I had never heard of Ellmers when Etheridge revealed himself to be a drunken bully, as it appeared to me, in his response to the two young men who accosted him on the sidewalk outside a Pelosi fundraiser to ask if he fully supported the Obama agenda. Etheridge grabbed one of his two interlocutors, knocked their camera to the ground and asked over and over: “Who are you?” Etheridge still doesn’t know who they are, but he should have been able to answer or ignore the question and move on.
I went looking at the time to see if Etheridge had an opponent and found it was Ellmers. Indeed, Ellmers put the incident to good use in the video above.
Ellmers now appears to have prevailed over Etheridge by 1,489 votes, and should be certified the winner by the North Carolina authorities on November 23. Etheridge has demanded a recount that would be completed before certification of the results takes place. In the meantime, Ellmers is planning to take office with the new Congress.
Ellmers undertook an extremely difficult race in order to resist the nationalization of American health care. As a registered nurse, she had a pretty good idea what she was talking about. She ran a professional campaign. She was in the right place to benefit from Etheridge’s unhinged attempt to ascertain the identity of his sidewalk interlocutors. Then the Wave helped carry her to victory on November 2.
Ellmers will contribute to the ranks of congressmen who took a professional path outside of law, as will a few others in the new class of freshmen. For all these reasons, it seems to me, her victory is one to be celebrated and savored.
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