I hope you all know about Beth Brewer, the Durham citizen with no political experience who led the fight to defeat Durham DA Nifong in the November election.
Brewer wasn't looking for campaign work. But no one else among all Durham's "leaders" was willing to step up and take on a rogue DA. So she added defeating Nifong to her work and family activities.
After Nifong deceived his way to a narrow Democratic Primary election win on May 2, it looked to everyone like he was a sure bet for election in November. He had no opposition in heavily Democratic Durham County. On primary night Nifong thought he was home free.
This from an interview with Fox News that night:
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, sir, this was a Democratic primary. Is there a general election and you're unopposed? Is that correct?But he didn't run unopposed. The Recall Nifong - Vote Cheek campaign came into being and Brewer volunteered to serve as its spokesperson and helped lead the group in countless other ways.
NIFONG: Yes, ma'am, that's correct. No Republican filed, so as the winner of the Democratic primary, I will run unopposed in November.
Brewer worked to use the election exactly the way our Founders hoped citizens would: To throw out scoundrels who abuse the public trust.
RN-VC gave Nifong a stout fight and in the process helped convince many people of how fraudulently he's used the powers of the DA's office.
Nifong had the active support of the Durham Democratic Party, the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, the People's Alliance, the Durham Herald Sun, and The Independent, a self-described "progressive" publication that tells readers it doesn't like police and DAs who violate citizens rights, but decided to make an exception in Nifong's case and enthusiastically endorse him.
Nifong also had at least the tacit support of Durham's Mayor, Bill Bell, every member of the Durham City Council, and every County Commissioner except Lewis Cheek.
Perhaps most important for Nifong, he had the tacit support of Duke University's Board of Trustees and its President, Richard H. Brodhead.
Brodhead refused to say a single word critical of Nifong, even after Duke Law Professor James Coleman and others had called for Nifong's removal from the Duke lacrosse case. Brodhead on a number of occasions expressed his support for Nifong's plan to bring three clearly innocent young men to trial.
Had Brodhead spoken critically of Nifong before the election, his words would very likely have been a death blow to Nifong, who won in a squeaker.
With all his support, Nifong got only 49% of the vote while other Durham Democrats in contested elections were pulling about 75% of the vote.
I plan sometime next week to say more about what I think Brewer and those who helped her accomplished in the campaign. In my opinion Brewer and the others accomplished much more than the public has recognized.
Meanwhile, I'll end with part of the tribute colunist Joan Collins paid Brewer:
After the election, Beth will return to her private life as a citizen of Durham. She will return to her home, her family and her career. In his book, “The Greatest Generation”, Tom Brokaw observed, "Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away." After the election, Beth will slip quietly away, but her contribution will not be forgotten.Hat tip: Liestoppers, which published Collins' column.