Local publisher to run for federal office
DENVER – Denver resident Ken Fortenberry announced Sunday, Aug. 14, that he plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry for his seat representing North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District in the 2012 Republican primary.
Fortenberry, publisher of Denver-based news@norman, did not return a phone call from Denver Weekly and refused an interview via email.
According to a story posted Sunday on news@norman’s website, Fortenberry said he filed a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission.
Candidates file with the State Board of Elections in February.
In 2004, Fortenberry ran as a Democrat for Lincoln County’s seat in the N.C. House of Representatives and lost to Republican Joe Kiser.
He changed his party affiliation to Republican on June 13, and county records show he has changed his party affiliation five times since he first registered to vote in Lincoln County in 1999.
An official with the county’s Board of Elections office said Fortenberry originally registered as a Democrat in 1999 and changed to unaffiliated in September 2002. In March 2003, Fortenberry filed as a Republican, then in November 2003, he changed to back to Democrat.
He registered as unaffiliated in January 2010 and switched to Republican two months ago.
In the statement posted on his newspaper’s website, Fortenberry criticized McHenry’s time in office.
“It’s time for the nonsense to end and for the people to say enough is enough. We’re all sick and tired of Washington and career politicians like Patrick McHenry who have failed us,” he said. “We need someone to speak for the average person, not be a spokesman for the rich and powerful.
“Most people don’t care about party labels. They care about whether they can pay the bills and if their children will be able to have a decent future. The far right and the far left have polarized this nation, and their extremism is crippling all of us. Our leaders need to concentrate on America first and focus on job creation, not getting re-elected.”