Burlington Times-News: GOP will target Foriest's Senate seat, GOP chairman says
Calling the recently passed state budget a “debacle,” Republican leaders kicked-off a statewide “budget tour” in Burlington on Monday as part of their efforts to win back legislative seats and return their party to the majority in the state House and Senate.
State GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer, along with Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger and House Minority Leader Paul Stam, joined local GOP leaders and others for lunch at Sal’s Italian Restaurant, where Stam said there were “great questions” and a “great turnout” that included Sheriff Terry Johnson, state Rep. Dan Ingle and school board Chairman Tom Manning.
Fetzer, Stam and GOP spokesman Jordan Shaw then stopped by the Times-News.
The tour, they said, is part of the GOP’s effort to regain 12 state House and eight Senate seats Democrats now hold. Regaining 10 in the former and six in the latter would give Republicans the majority on both sides of the General Assembly.
Stam and Fetzer are confident that Burlington real estate agent Rick Gunn can win a second bid against Democratic state Sen. Tony Foriest, whom they say is vulnerable because of his role as chairman of the Senate Education Appropriation Committee.
Foriest narrowly defeated Gunn, a political newcomer, in the 2008 race.
Foriest, they say, was instrumental in helping shape a state budget that raised taxes $1 billion and cut per-pupil spending 4 percent amid a recession. “I thought it was unconscionable what they did,” Stam said of the Democrats.Tweet