The man who challenged U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell in this year’s Democrat primary said he is open to the possibility of a rematch with the incumbent in November.
Marcus Williams, a Lumberton attorney, is said to be on a short list of people being considered by a black political action committee as a write-in candidate for Kissell’s seat.
The 8th Congressional District Black Leadership Caucus Political Action Committee will hold a press conference tonight to reveal the name of the candidate it plans to support.
Kissell angered some black Democrats when it was reported that the Biscoe Democrat did not plan to support President Barack Obama’s re-election. Kissell also drew the ire of fellow Democrats for his opposition to the Obama’s landmark legislation — the Affordable Health Care Act.
Williams said he plans to attended tonight’s meeting in Hamlet.
“If there is an effort to make me a candidate, it won’t be driven by me,” Williams said. “But there are a number of people who can serve in that capacity and I am one of the potential names.”
Williams added that one of the reasons he ran in the primary was to oppose Kissell’s conservative stance on issues. He said that is why the PAC’s initial support of Kissell was “so disappointing.”
“I was particularly befuddled by the fact that Mayor Anthony R. Foxx and former mayor Harvey Gantt jumped in to endorse Larry Kissell without even having a conversation with me,” Williams said. “Now what concerns me is we are jeopardising the legacy of President Obama and his reelection.”
Williams, a former student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill, has run unsuccessfully for several offices in the past. He lost a gubernatorial primary battle against Jim Hunt in 1992, and in 1996 he ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre in a 7th District primary.
Walter Rogers, a spokesman for the PAC, would not disclose the names of any candidate that the group is considering. The press conference will be held at 7 p.m. at 202 East Hamlet Avenue.
“What I will say is that all the folk that have run against Larry Kissell are good people,” Rogers said. “If we had elected any of those people, we wouldn’t have the problems we are experiencing today.”
Kissell has held the seat since 2009.