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According to The Pilot, Pinehurst Republican Joe Boylan says he is considering challenging state Representative Richard Morgan in the primary next year.

Three years ago, Morgan broke with House Republicans to form a coalition with Democratic House leader Jim Black. Morgan had his reasons for not supporting the Republican Caucus choice for Speaker. But nobody came out of that imbroglio with clean hands.

Since then Morgan has continued his alliance with Black. Even if Republicans win the next House election, as long as Morgan can persuade just four or five Republicans to follow him into a coalition with the Democrats, Republicans are faced with the prospect of finding themselves with no power or with Morgan and a Democrat as Co-Speakers.

If Mr. Boylan runs he will challenge Representative Morgan to answer a simple question, ‘If you are reelected will you pledge not to form a coalition with the Democrats?’ And he will keep asking that question until he gets an answer.

Granted, there are times when breaking ranks with the party line is right and proper. But by forming what appears to be a more or less permanent alliance with Democrats in the House, Morgan has raised a different issue from his refusal to support Leo Daughtry, the Republican Caucus choice for Speaker, three years ago.

This is an issue Republicans in North Carolina are going to have to face and a debate they are going to have – not just in Morgan’s district but across the state. The sooner they get on with it the better off they’ll be.


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