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Tim D'Annunzio vs. the GOP: Candidate's Party Backs Away in N.C. Race

3 years ago
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The North Carolina GOP is doing everything it can to sink Tim D'Annunzio's bid to win the Republican nomination for the 8th District U.S. congressional race. State leaders -- with Washington looking over their shoulder -- have backed away from him after published reports about the controversial candidate's views and past behavior.

But D'Annunzio, who faces a June 22 runoff with former sportscaster Harold Johnson, is fighting back. In response to N.C. GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer's judgment that D'Annunzio was "unfit for public office at any level," the candidate this week called on Fetzer to resign. "Chairman Fetzer broke the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party by speaking against my candidacy," he said, as reported in The Charlotte Observer.

An earlier Observer story
had relied on court documents from a contentious 1995 divorce and a subsequent child-custody filing that portrayed D'Annunzio as "a self-described religious zealot" who once called the U.S. government the Antichrist and told his ex-wife that he'd found the Ark of the Covenant. D'Annunzio countered that "the allegations are unsubstantiated and come from second-hand sources." (Several of his now-grown children work with him.)

Tim D'Annunzio On his blog, "Christ's War," D'Annunzio has acknowledged teenage arrests and past drug use. But the millionaire businessman says conversion changed him and his problems are in the past. He wrote: "Remember, the news media and the attackers take a small bit of something said or done, adds their own context and then uses their created context to define and demonize people they dislike or disagree with. When the bits of reality are put into their proper context the reality is nothing close to the attacker's creation."

"I know that I have been Anointed by God to be part of His plan to save the world," he writes. "This is nothing different than every Christian is supposed to believe. We all have a mission."

Despite D'Annunzio's first-place finish in a May 4 primary and his support by state Tea Party groups, the party establishment -- including former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes -- has lined up behind Johnson. "What [D'Annunzio] could do to the party as our nominee is secondary in my view to what he could do to the country if he got elected," Fetzer said in the Observer. "If he got elected, for crying out loud, that would be a disaster."

On his website, D'Annunzio's endorsement list includes former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo and former NASCAR driver Lake Speed.

None of this was part of the GOP's plan. U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, a Democrat who beat Hayes to win in the conservative but swing district in 2008, was seen as vulnerable in November. The Blue Dog Democrat voted against health-care reform and survived a challenge from the left in the May 4 primary from former supporters. But if D'Annunzio holds on to win the primary, Republicans have already given Kissell ready-made quotes for his campaign. If Johnson prevails, there may be residual resentment from D'Annunzio supporters.

Meanwhile, D'Annunzio's national profile is only growing. It began during his primary campaign with his "machine-gun socials." (A $25 contribution got one a barbecue dinner, ammo to use at the shooting range where the fundraisers were held, and a raffle ticket to win an AR-15 assault rifle.)

It all adds up to a headline-making battle between D'Annunzio and a GOP establishment made skittish by early controversies involving Kentucky's Rand Paul, and it shows no sign of fading.

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24 Comments

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yeehaa2

It's about time we got a candidate that's capable of keeping a budget, making a payroll, employing hard working citizens, making sure they have health care insurance and has a positive, never give up attitude. He has "real world" experience that too many lack in Congress today.

May 31 2010 at 1:12 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
crysdebbob

I'm a Christian, and nothing can ever change that; but i must say, this man is not the "real thing" , when one compares true Christianity.

May 31 2010 at 9:30 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Michael

We need a true God fearing person to lead this country.

May 30 2010 at 2:57 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment
wanagiakicita

True God fearing person is one thing, a certifiable lunatic is another. Although I've seen a lot of fanatical, certifiable lunatics that were also God fearing. Personally I don't see the Creator as something or someone to be "feared". I was taught he was a caring and loving being. Of course it's easier to control a "fearful" flock of sheep than it is a "thoughtful" bunch of cats. lol Did you ever try herding cats? Think about it.

May 30 2010 at 5:37 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
ajkartist

What in the world is this politician doing raffling off an assult rifle? I don't care about ammo, or even a great sportsman's shotgun ot rifle. But does he have to go to the extreme of an assult rifle? I come from a family of avid sportsman, and we seem to do pretty well with the traditional rifles, shotguns, and bows and arrows for more challenging hunts. But assult rifles? It represents an extremist's point of views as bad as the left's extremists. I for one hope he doesn't get elected.

May 30 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ettu

The Tea Party, of which I am a member, must back off of supporting candidates that are too far right for the American public to support their choice. Throughout my 51 years of voting, I have generally voted Republican, a few times for the Democrat. But, I have to say, while I believe in a Greater Being, I am not a religious fanatic, and understand where religion has its' power, and where it should not enter the picture.

May 30 2010 at 12:37 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
dstack9781

"Crazy for Tim D'Annunzio" is the campaign button you get for a $5 donation. LOL Obviously a well thought out motto for his supporters, don't you think?

May 30 2010 at 12:00 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dstack9781's comment
ettu

A Republican who agrees, in this instance.

May 30 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dstack9781

Just what we don't need ....another Republican "annointed by God" zealot who would try to push his superstitions and stupidities on the rest of us.

May 30 2010 at 11:58 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dstack9781's comment
ettu

And probably one you won't get. Go Moderates and Independents.....enough of the same ol' same ol', and enough of the connected and corrupted career politicians. Someone, on todays cable news, said where will the leadership and experience come from, if all new faces appear in Congress. Well, please, do you really think they could do a worse job than those long term experienced incumbents. We don't want someone "who knows the ropes," "how the game is played." We want people who understand they are there to serve the people, not spend all their time increasing their own wealth and power. NO MORE GAMES.

May 30 2010 at 4:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jancf

Not good for America...or anywhere. Seems to be in his own, weirdly detached world where God tells him what to do for the country and rifles are an integral part of his psyche and a means to gain supporters.

May 30 2010 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
BULLMAN

Well now this looks like an American.

May 30 2010 at 1:51 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
tistolaugh

It's clear both parties have their fringe nuts which is why I will always remain Independent. I would never dream of voting strictly for, or trusting only one party or the other. Ever.

May 29 2010 at 11:56 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

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