Etheridge Won’t Run Against Burr

Posted November 13, 2009 at 5:06pm

North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge has decided to pass, for a second time, on the opportunity to take on Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr.

“Ultimately, I believe that I can best help the people of North Carolina during this economic downturn by remaining in the House of Representatives and continuing to serve as North Carolina’s only member of the House Ways and Means Committee,” Etheridge said in a written statement.

The congressman’s decision to seek re-election to his House seat is the latest, and maybe the biggest, recruiting set back for Democrats in a state that party officials had hoped would be a top pick-up opportunity next year.

Three Democratic candidates — North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Durham attorney Kenneth Lewis and businessman Frank Deaton II have filed to run against Burr, but it’s no secret that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was aggressively recruiting Etheridge.