Gannett is reporting that former President Bill Clinton will attend a fundraiser for Heath Shuler (D-NC) in Raleigh on Jan.26.
Speculation is running throughout NC on who will emerge to challenge Richard Burr in 2010 for the seat that seems to change parties every six years.
Shuler, of the western 11th district which includes Asheville and most of the NC mountains, is a leading member of the Blue Dog Coalition. He is conservative on fiscal and social issues, but progressive on the environment. He has name recognition as a former star quarterback at Swain County HS, University of Tennessee, and a stint shortened by injuries with the Washington Redskins.
Other potential challengers:
-- NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, who apparently rebuffed efforts to recruit him to run against Elizabeth Dole. Cooper is generally well liked around the state, and is perhaps the leader at this point.
-- Former state treasurer Richard Moore, who lost to new Gov. Beverly Perdue in a hard-fought primary campaign. The campaign got nasty at times, and that could hurt Moore with some Democrats.
-- Rep. Brad Miller (D-13), represents a district that includes northern Raleigh suburbs, and parts of four counties that border on VA running west to the northern Greensboro suburbs. He is more progressive than Shuler, but will have to get more statewide name recognition to compete against Cooper or Shuler.