From the Hickory Record:
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Kitty Barnes said she will challenge N.C. Sen. Austin Allran in the May Republican primary. Allran’s district comprises all of Catawba County and a northern section of Iredell County. . . . Barnes is past president of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. She also served on the Catawba County Board of Education from 1986 to 1998.
Here's a little insight into Catawba Republican politics:
Other Republicans also described the decision as unexpected.
N.C. Rep. Mark Hilton believes the race will add to the bitterness within the party still lingering from the 2004 congressional race between Patrick McHenry and Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman.
“This is not helping when you’ve got an incumbent in Allran being challenged by another elected official. It can’t help the current situation. I think this will further divide our party,” Hilton said.
One of Barnes’ fellow commissioners, Barbara Beatty, didn’t know of the move until a phone call Tuesday.
“It will certainly be an interesting race,” she said.
Someone's in for a sad moment. Except for a judicial election Allran lost in 1978, neither Barnes nor Allran has lost an election before or since.