One week after Democratic primary opponents thought it was a good idea to bash Deborah Ross for her past work for the ACLU, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is stepping in to steer wavering campaign donors her way.

Fellow Democratic candidates Kevin Griffin, a Durham businessman, and Chris Rey, Spring Lake’s mayor, told The News & Observer that Ross, a former state representative for Districts 38 and 34, was an “unelectable” target for “Republican attack,” as the former state director for the ACLU.

That association apparently doesn’t bother DSCC Chair and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana (who gets an 80 percent rating from the ACLU on civil liberties and civil rights).

Tester praised Ross as “one of North Carolina’s most effective legislators during her time in the state legislature” in the DSCC’s endorsement of Ross as the best choice to run against Republican Sen. Richard Burr in November. (The fourth Democratic primary candidate, Ernest Reeves. ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Greenville last year.)

As noted by The N&O. this is only the fourth time that the DSCC has made a pick in one of this year’s primary races.


Last week, Ross picked up an important endorsement from Emily’s List. So while things are going her way, she still has a ways to go.

From PPP’s voter survey on Dec. 9:

In the Senate race Richard Burr continues his usual pattern of having voters split pretty much three ways about his job performance- 33% approve, 34% disapprove, and 33% have no opinion either way. Burr leads Deborah Ross and Kevin Griffin each 46/35, and Chris Rey 47/33 in hypothetical match ups. A lot of that is a function of the Democratic candidates being pretty much unknown at this point- they all have between 20 and 27% name recognition. Ross is the strong early favorite for the Democratic nomination with 41% to 15% for Griffin and 5% for Rey, although 39% of voters remain undecided.