Jim Kee wants a shot at the title


Everyone knew that Jim Kee was going to challenge NC Rep. Pricey Harrison for the District 57 seat she’s held for 10 years.

I heard it before the last Greensboro City Council election, when Kee lost his re-election bid in District 2 against upstart Jamal Fox after a ham-fisted attempt to besmirch his opponent that nearly got Fox fired and almost certainly cost Kee the seat.

It’s a smart move. District 57 has been redrawn into a majority-minority district. The redistricting lines drawn by the state GOP after they took the House in 2010 may not have been intended to drive white Democrats from office, but that was the overall effect.

Another consequence of the redistricting, unintended I’m sure, was that my house was drawn into Pricey’s district. To this day, she is the only politician who has ever knocked on my door, and I’ve lived in the house more than 10 years.

Pricey is one of the good guys, but she’s in trouble. It’s the first time in her tenure that she’s faced a primary challenge — Kee, and also Dan Koenig, a white guy in his first run for office. Dude doesn’t have a prayer.

Pricey has a lot of friends in the black community. But Jim’s an actual black guy, and that makes a difference with a lot of voters in the district. Sometimes these things really do come down to the matter of skin tone.

And Jim’s thrown in with a crew that has won a lot of elections. I myself saw former Guilford County Commission Chair Skip Alston at a Jamal Fox campaign event in the fall, recording Fox’s reaction to Kee’s insinuation that Fox traded grades for votes.

Alston told me that day that he didn’t think the election would be very close. He may have even believed it at the time.

Alston ruffled a few Democrat’s feathers on his own when in December he filed to run against NC Sen. Gladys Robinson in District 28, likely ruining many a Christmas party.

He’ll have a tough race against Robinson, who has served ably. But Kee could pose a real challenge to Pricey. I’m ready to place my marker on Robinson, but I’ll need more information before I can place a bet on District 57.