There are less than eight weeks until the general election, just enough time for a candidate to distinguish herself from the herd — or, at least, make sure people know how to pronounce her name.
We’re talking about Laura Fjeld here, pronounced Fyeld, like “yelled” with the letter F in front of it.
Fjeld, a Democrat, is running for the US 6th Congressional District, open for the first time since Rep. Howard Coble first sat there in 1985 and, besides the US senatorial election between Sen. Kay Hagan and state House Speaker Thom Tillis, pretty much the most dynamic race this year.
Lots of Democrats voted for Coble, a Republican, because he was warm and fuzzy, and good at constituent services. But will they be willing to cross party lines for GOP candidate Mark Walker, pastor of Lawndale Baptist Church where the Guilford County tea party group C4GC was founded?
To win, Fjeld will need heavy turnout from Guilford County, the most demographically dense, and most blue, of the territory the district covers. A third of the district lives within the city limits of Greensboro. But she’s an unknown quantity in the heart of this district; she lives in Orange County on the eastern fringe.
Her qualifications might hit home around here: a small-town girl who rose to become vice president and general counsel for the UNC System, a newcomer to politics, mother of five. She’s electable, alright, but not without the votes from Guilford County.
So where is she? We heard tell of a few private events in well-placed circles, and she came to Greensboro on Saturday for a few Facebook photo ops.
But Fjeld has held no forums or rallies in the heart of the district she wants to represent, no town-hall meetings, no voter drives and no public meet-and-greets. Save for a single televised debate with candidate Mark Walker the week before the election, we can’t find any appearances for her at all.
Her website and Facebook campaign page are bereft of events calendars.
Meanwhile, her opponent, Walker, has planted signs in every neighborhood in town, made himself available to reporters during the primary and even took a moment to drop political operative Paul Norcross in a dunk tank.
Fjeld would do well to remember that people voted for Coble, regardless of their political party, because they felt like he understood them. She should take note, too, of Coble’s most notorious old-school political affectation: He memorized the mascots of every high school in his district so he could say, “Go Whirlies!” at the appropriate times.
We’re not sure Fjeld even knows what a Whirlie is.