This in CharO this morning:
The 10th District isn't one that national Democrats normally would spend energy on, but Rep. Patrick McHenry of Cherryville gives them optimism.
McHenry has been controversial at home since he won a Republican primary runoff in 2004 and in Washington for his role attacking the Democrats.
"You've got somebody who is just too strident," says Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
He has high hopes for the candidacy of Daniel Johnson of Hickory, a lawyer and Navy veteran.
McHenry could face a primary as well, from lawyer Lance Sigmon of Newton, a longtime military officer.
It's too soon to say if Sigmon will have any luck raising money or if Johnson is capable of flipping voters who carry Republican registration cards.
McHenry says he's working to bring "conservative change" to Washington and stands by his record of advocacy for the district.
And this from the Greensboro News-Record a few days ago:
McHenry has a credible challenger . .Lots of good stuff like this:
My mom lives in Hickory and voted for Republican Patrick McHenry in his first run for Congress in 2004.
But now she's very interested in the candidacy of Democrat Daniel Johnson, a 31-year-old Hickory native and military hero.
There's no Asheville in the 10th District, where the largest "city" is Hickory, so any Democrat with a prayer of winning has got to be fairly conservative.
But then, Johnson's military story is compelling. The fact that he's been a prosecutor also helps. He's the son of a Presbyterian minister and a high school teacher, also to the good.
His youth and political inexperience are only slight problems. McHenry was only 29, with a single term in the state House of Representatives under his belt, when he was elected to Congress in 2004. That makes him 32 now.
And then the author, editorial writer Doug Clark, struck some uncharacteristic traditional media hits:
. . . [McHenry's] made his reputation as an attack dog for Republicans, which has turned off some of his constituents -- my mom, for one. At the same time, he's been active in pushing for benefits for his district, like a VA outpatient clinic in Hickory and drought relief for farmers.
I can't predict how this congressional race will shape up, but it looks like Democrats have a candidate in Daniel Johnson with proven courage and character. If he doesn't align himself with his party's Nancy Pelosi wing, the 10th District's moderate voters, like my mom, will give him a very close look.