North Carolina Dem joins Blue Dogs


Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) has joined the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative, centrist House Democrats.

"I've always said I'm not much of a joiner, but I believe that a strong moderate presence is needed, and that's why I have joined the Blue Dog Coalition," he said in a statement provided to The Hill. "Now, more than ever, we must have representatives who are willing to work with both sides of the aisle to get the job done, whether working to create jobs and get our economy back on track or get our fiscal house in order, and it is clear that our moderate message is strongest when we stand together."

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Kissell is facing a daunting reelection campaign in a district that got considerably more conservative in redistricting. He has maintained a fairly centrist voting record while in the House, but his district went from a district Obama won with 52 percent to one where he would have only won 42 percent.

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), a retiring member who is one of the coalition's leaders, welcomed him to the group.

"Larry Kissell is not only a true fiscal conservative, but he is also one of the hardest working and most principled leaders I have ever had the privilege of working with in Congress," he said. "He has long embodied the values and spirit of the Blue Dog Coalition, and we are excited and honored that he is now officially part of our Blue Dog family."

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