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Monday, July 18, 2005

NC-11: Heath Shuler (D) vs. Rep. Charles Taylor

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the A.P.

Former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler is mounting a challenge for the U.S. House seat held by Republican Charles Taylor of Brevard.

Shuler, a Democrat who lives in Waynesville, said in a statement Monday that he has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission that clear the way for him to run next year in the 11th Congressional District.

Taylor, an eight-term incumbent, has been targeted by the state Democratic Party in recent months. The party has released a series of statements attacking Taylor's ethics and under the leadership of new party chair Jerry Meek has created a task force aimed at shoring up Democratic prospects in the western mountains.

In 2004, Patricia Keever held Taylor to 55%.

"Far too many families in western North Carolina are struggling to earn a decent living, educate their children, and pay for health care," Shuler said. "Congress is spending too much time playing partisan politics, instead of working to find solutions to the real problems facing our families." [...]

Shuler played football at Swain County High School, where he ranked among North Carolina's all-time passing leaders and led his team to three straight state championships. At the University of Tennessee, he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

Drafted in the first round by the NFL's Washington Redskins in 1994, Shuler's pro career never took off. In four-plus NFL seasons with the Redskins and New Orleans Saints, Shuler started just 22 games, throwing for only 15 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.

Since retiring from football, Shuler and his brother Benjie have run Heath Shuler Real Estate, a firm with 250 employees. Shuler and his wife Nikol have a son and a daughter.

It looks like Congressman Taylor's re-election is in trouble:

"That doesn't mean that we don't see the 11th as a great pickup possibility," Johnson said Monday. "Charles Taylor is ripe for the picking. ... From all we've gathered, Heath Shuler will be a very formidable candidate."

Democrats have long blamed Taylor for the loss of thousands of blue-collar jobs in the 11th District. And he has been dogged by ethics controversies, including an extended run-in with the Jackson County tax collector over unpaid taxes on a tree farm Taylor owns, and a criminal trial at which longtime political associates testified that Taylor knew about fraudulent loans made by the Asheville-based bank he chairs, Blue Ridge Savings.

Here are some stats.

Posted at 04:15 PM in 2006 Elections - House, North Carolina | Technorati


This is North Carolina, not New Hampshire!

Man, I thought my second favorite state just got a lot bigger!

Posted by: njdem [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 18, 2005 04:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

whoops, good catching.

It is now properly archieved.

As regular readers may remember, Shuler isn't the only former NFL player running for congress as a Democrat. Or looking at it, anyway...

Posted by: Bob Brigham [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 18, 2005 04:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment