Craven County Republican Scott Dacey’s gamble didn’t pay off.
Dacey gave up his seat on the Craven County Board of Commissioners in a quest to unseat U.S. House of Representative District 3’s longtime, wacky Walter Jones.
Instead, Dacey came in a distant third in a three-man race. Dacey wasn’t even able to win his home county, losing to Jones by nine votes.
Dacey describes himself as a Trump Republican, so much so that his campaign website is DaceyTrump.com.
Dacey attempted to connect Jones, one of the higher-rated congressional conservatives from a variety of conservative rating systems, with Democrat congresswoman and conservative pariah Nancy Pelosi.
(See Dacey’s somewhat creepy campaign video here and watch him speak without moving his lips at the end.)
“Our President needs a congressman he can count on,” Dacey proclaims on his website, which between it and his campaign was heavily funded by donations from outside the district (list here)
Dacey’s “donate” button is labeled “Donate to Scott’s MAGA fund.” He received numerous donations from the Indian tribes that he serves in his day job as a Washington D.C. lobbyist.
In all, Dacey raised $357,497 for his campaign, compared to $2.77 million raised by Jones and $209,082 raised by Phil Law.
(Fun fact: You can tell a lot about a candidate by who puts skin into the game to get him elected. Here is N.C. Rep. Mike Speciale’s contribution report. Speciale raised $332,481 — almost as much as Dacey but for a much smaller district, and at the state level. Speciale won his primary race against Eric Queen, whose contribution report got lost in the mail or something because it reports he raised zero dollars, which is unlikely.)
Dacey claims on his website that Congress and the Washington establishment are the problem, and that Walter Jones is part of the problem.
Anyone who would think of Representative Walter Jones as part of the Washington establishment is deluded. Jones transcends party politics and remains one of the few members of Congress on either side of the aisle who will vote his conscience and his district’s needs over party politics.
Dacey? Not so much.
Anyway, Jones finished with 20,862 votes, 43 percent of the total. Law and Dacey split the rest, with Law pulling in 14,266 votes and Dacey collecting 13,380.
Dacey’s strongest showings were in Jones and Lenoir counties, where he came in first. Law won his former home county of Onslow (he lives in Raleigh now). Jones took the remaining 14 counties, most significantly Carteret, Pitt and Craven counties, which pulled in the highest numbers.
No Democrat filed to run for the office, so absent a strong write-in campaign, Walter Jones keeps his seat. He has vowed that this will be his last term.
Meanwhile, E.T. Mitchell, a former appointee to the New Bern Board of Aldermen, has won the Republican primary for Dacey’s old seat on the Craven County Board of Commissioners. There is no Democrat in the race, so again, absent a write-in campaign, she will take over for Dacey after the November elections.
Eric Queen, a retired Marine seeking to unseat N.C. House District 3 Rep. Mike Speciale, is a Bronze Star recipient. I asked Queen for details.
Here is the narrative on the Bronze Star award:
For exceptionally meritorious service while deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom as a member of the Recruiting Assistance Team, NATO Training Mission and Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan. As the primary convoy commander, Staff Sergeant Queen planned and executed over 100 convoy missions accumulating 8,000 miles on some of the most dangerous routes of Afghanistan, placing him at significant risk to hostile action multiple times weekly in the execution of his mission. This was accomplished with no loss of life or injury to himself, his crew or his passengers. As the advisor of the Afghanistan National Army Recruiting Command Security Company he trained 100 soldiers in the proper techniques in manning entry control points. His performance in a combat zone reflects great credit upon himself, NATO Training Mission and Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan and the United States Marines.
From 29 June 2009 to 5 January 2010.
Speciale was also a career Marine, serving from 1973 to 1995.
The Republican primary for N.C. House District 3 has two former Marines squaring off against each other. The seat, occupied by Tea Party firebrand Mike Speciale, has been under Republican control since Norm Sanderson unseated Alice Underhill during the GOP sweep of Raleigh in 2011.
Speciale, a former Marine who has been unpopular among Democrats and traditional Republicans but loved by everyone else, has been noted for being outspoken and divisive, quite a change from the affable Sanderson, who went on to become a state senator, and the even more affable Underhill.
Seizing on Speciale’s precarious position, New Bern resident and retired U.S. Marine Bronze Star recipient Eric Queen announced he will challenge Speciale in the Republican Primary for the N.C. House District #3 position.
The primary election will be May 8.
“I believe the voters in Eastern North Carolina are ready for a change and want to put a Common-Sense Conservative in the General Assembly. It is time to elect a Representative that has beliefs and priorities that are actually in line with the voters he or she will represent. I am confident the voters will see that I am that candidate”
Queen’s website goes further, describing other candidates as having “extreme right or left wing views that do not match the beliefs of the very people they claim to represent.”
Queen retired in New Bern after serving 21 years in the Marine Corps 14 years as a military police officer and seven years as an infantryman. Queen spent seven of those years at Cherry Point, including his final duty station serving as the Military Police Services Chief.
Queen and his wife Carrie married in 2000 and have three children Alexis (17), Alyssa (16), and Eric (14). More about Queen on his website, here, and Facebook, here.
More about Speciale, who also lives in New Bern, on his website, here, and Facebook, here.