N.C. Republicans Make Schuler’s Seat More Vulnerable (as he reportedly considers UT job)

North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders have unveiled their congressional redistricting plan, which is designed to make four incumbent Democrats more vulnerable to GOP challengers. One of them is Rep. Health Schuler, who is reportedly considering the possibility of being named to the University of Tennessee athletic director’s position.
The Republican redistricting plan changes Schuler’s district from 52 percent Republican (based on the 2008 presidential race results) to 58 percent Republican, according to the Washington Post. The plan moves Republican-leaning counties of Mitchell, Caldwell and Avery into Schuler’s 11th District while moving half of Democrat-leaning Buncombe County into Republican Patrick Henry’s 10th District, says the News and Observer.
Schuler has been non-commenting on the speculation about the UT athletic director’s position through a spokesman in Washington. But the Union City Messenger asked him personally while he was in the Tennessee town of Union City last week and got what the reporter described as a “political answer.”
“Right now, I’m focused on the job at hand and the issues that our nation is facing,” the former Vol quarterback and current North Carolina congressman told The Messenger just prior to speaking to the Boys & Girls Club at the “Breakfast for Champions” … at Union City Middle School. “It’s very flattering that my name has been mentioned, but today I’m focused on talking to these kids and the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) later today.”
Shuler — in town as part of a trip that includes participation in an FCA golf tournament this afternoon in Dyersburg — did say he has been contacted by numerous “supporters and fans” in regard to the AD’s job. He would not confirm whether he is a candidate or not.
A radio host for WLVZ radio in Knoxville and numerous other news agencies have reported that Shuler was possibly interested in replacing Mike Hamilton, who resigned earlier this month.
Rumors aside, Shuler had no qualms discussing his limitless love for the university.
“My blood runs orange,” he said when asked if Tennessee still has a special place in his heart. “There is a family atmosphere at the university that is special. It’s something that you don’t see at a lot of other places.
“I’ll always be a part of the UT family and that’s something the good Lord has blessed me with.”
Shuler also applauded the loyalty of Volunteer fans across the state while at UCMS, recalling stops he made as a student-athlete and the support he received.
“Tennessee’s a very large state, but the fan support is just incredible,” Shuler said “From Union City to Knoxville is a pretty long drive, but I remember going to Memphis and Nashville as a player and seeing orange everywhere.
“There are universities much closer than Knoxville, but the loyalty is amazing. I was at a small get-together last night (in Union City) and there were orange ‘T’s’ on almost every shirt.”

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