The Campaign Spot

Heath Shuler, Likely Challenged from Left and Right in 2012

It’s not clear that this will end up having much of an impact on Election Day 2012, but Carolina Politics Online notes that Asheville councilman Cecil Bothwell will be running as a progressive independent against Heath Shuler, a Democrat, in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district this cycle.

As currently drawn, Shuler’s district in the western end of the state is pretty conservative, and he managed to win pretty easily last cycle (54 percent to 46 percent), even as many Blue Dogs went down to defeat. While it’s not unthinkable that Shuler’s district lines could change, it only borders one district, the 10th, which is represented by Republican Patrick McHenry. Making Shuler’s district less Democratic would require moving GOP-leaning communities into McHenry’s district, a scenario that is likely to displease the incumbent Republican.

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