|Libertarian candidate for
United States House of Representatives elections in North Carolina, 2010
June 22, 2010 (Primary runoff)
|Opponent(s)||Harold Johnson (R)|
January 14, 1958 |
Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
Timothy Bruce D'Annunzio (born January 14, 1958) is an American businessman and political figure from Raeford, North Carolina. He is best known for his unsuccessful 2010 bid for North Carolina's 8th congressional district.
D'Annunzio is a conservative who favors gun rights and small government, including privatizing the social "safety net". He has a history of publicly denouncing Barack Obama, among others. While his candidacy was heavily supported by the Tea Party movement, he was not favored by the leadership of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Born in Darby, Pennsylvania, D'Annunzio admitted to having "a troubled upbringing" on the streets of inner city Philadelphia. His actions led to several teenage arrests and jail time in 1973, and a 1996 trespassing charge during a domestic dispute. In an attempt to leave life of gangs and drugs, D'Annunzio relocated to North Carolina at some point in the 1970s to join the United States Army. He was commissioned as an Infantryman and Parachute Rigger. He became a member of the U.S. Army’s elite Parachute team, the Golden Knights, and traveled the nation and world representing the Army. In 1985, he received an Honorable Discharge with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He credits a religious conversion sometime in the 1990s for turning his life around.
D'Annunzio has six children and two grandchildren. His second wife Colleen is also a veteran.
D'Annunzio started several business, including Paraclete Armor & Equipment, which manufactured body armor and equipment for police and the U.S. Military. In 2006, shortly after Paraclete received over $26 million in federal contracts, D'Annunzio sold it for $30 million to Mine Safety Appliances. He went on to found Paraclete XP Skyventure LLC, which makes a vertical wind tunnel used to simulate skydiving.
|“||I cannot vote for Barack Obama because of his association with terrorists.||”|
—from D'Annunzio's Bill Ayers themed ad, 
In 2004, D'Annunzio's company Paraclete donated $2,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In 2008, D'Annunzio went on to fund and produce his own political commercials, including four ads attacking then-candidate Barack Obama on taxes, abortion, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Along with web distribution, D'Annunzio purchased television time for at least one of his ads.
A collector of semi-automatic weapons, and an advocate of the right to keep and bear arms, D'Annunzio publicized his campaign by hosting two "Machine Gun Social" fundraisers at area shooting ranges. Video of these fundraisers was picked up by television news outlets across the country.
In March 2010, former state Republican Party chair Jack Hawke left his full-time advisory position in the D'Annunzio campaign over disagreements about D'Annunzio's web log, Christ's War, which Hawke felt conflicted in tone with the moderate themes Hawke wanted to advance in the campaign's advertising. When D'Annunzio insisted he would continue blogging, he and Hawke agreed to part ways, though the D'Annunzio campaign says Hawke continued consulting in an unofficial capacity.
While D'Annunzio was backed by the local Tea Party group, We the People NC, his main rival Harold Johnson was endorsed by most local GOP party leaders, including state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer, former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, former Governor James G. Martin, and former 8th District Representative Robin Hayes.
|“||The bigger story is that the power brokers in Raleigh and in Washington are willing to go to any length and use any unscrupulous tactic to try to destroy somebody. They think that they're losing their control over the Republican Party.||”|
—Tim D'Annunzio, 
In the May 4 Primary election, D'Annunzio received a plurality of the Republican votes cast, 37 percent of the vote compared to 33 percent for Johnson. Since no candidate got over 40 percent, the two frontrunners competed in a runoff election June 22, 2010 to determine who would face Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell in November.
North Carolina Republican officials continued to put their weight behind Harold Johnson, with national party leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor coming out in support for Johnson. The Charlotte Observer published statements made by D'Annunzio's ex-wife during divorce proceedings, which The Observer reported were from court documents being publicized by the Republican Party, along with records of D'Annunzio's past legal troubles.
In response, D'Annunzio held a press conference, naming Tom Fetzer as the origin of the alleged libel. He subsequently called for Fetzer to resign his position, claiming abuse of his office, and citing the State Republican Plan of Organization which prohibited party officials from choosing sides in a primary election.
D'Annunzio lost the runoff election to Harold Johnson by over 20 points. Upon losing the election, D'Annunzio refused to endorse Johnson's candidacy against Kissell. In the subsequent 8th district general election, Harold Johnson lost to Democrat Larry Kissell.
Endorsed by We the People of the Sandhills, a Tea Party group in Fayetteville, D'Annunzio won the GOP primary in May 2012, beating Jim Allen of Burlington (who took 35 percent of the vote) and George Frank Hutchins of Raleigh (with less than 20%). In the general election he lost to Democratic incumbent David Price (U.S. politician).
In February 2014 D'Annunzio filed as a candidate for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian party candidate having changed his party affiliation after becoming disillusioned with the national Republican Party.
As of 22 April 2014 he had not updated his website to reflect the new campaign despite the fact that the primary was two weeks away.
Abolish the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Treasury, and Home Land Security. Any duties remaining that are Constitutional should be rolled into other Departments.—Tim D'Annunzio, on his blog, Christ's War
- United States House of Representatives elections in North Carolina, 2010
- Opinion polling for the United States House of Representatives elections, 2010 – North Carolina
- "NC Election Results". North Carolina State Board of Elections.
- McNeely, Ben (2010-04-20). "Tea Party endorses local candidates". Independent Tribune (Media General). Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Baker, Mike (2010-05-06). "GOP tries to upend NC campaign backed by tea party". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Morrill, Jim (2010-02-14). "The Source: Inside Carolina politics". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "North Carolina GOP Congressional Candidate Holds Machine Gun Social". The Huffington Post. HuffingtonPost.com. 2010-02-12.
- Morrill, Jim (2010-05-14). "Battle in 8th District: Harold Johnson winning over GOP leaders". The Charlotte Observer.
- "Tim's Story". Tim D'Annunzio for Congress.
- Evans, Will (2008-10-22). "Citizen Tim Takes On Obama Himself". The Secret Money Project. National Public Radio.
- Boone, Mark (2010-02-14). "'Machine Gun Social' aims to get voters attention". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-05-26. "D'Annunzio held his second "Machine Gun Social" at an indoor firing range in Gaston County Tuesday night to raise money"
- Morrill, Jim (2010-05-06). "D'Annunzio campaign loses adviser; dispute over 'Christ's War' blog". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- Lake Speed (2010-05-17). Tim D'Annunzio for US Congress, Lake Speed Ad (Flash Video). We The People NC. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Winant, Gabriel. "GOP turns on Tea Party". Salon.com (Salon Media Group). Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- Morrill, Jim (2010-05-06). "Contrasts emerge in District 8 runoff". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-06-25.[dead link]
- Shayne, Beth (2010-05-25). "Tim D'Annunzio calls for N.C. GOP chair to resign". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Kiely, Kathy (22 June 2010). "'Machine gun' D'Annunzio runs out of ammo in N.C.". USA Today On Politics. USA Today. "Normally, party leaders remain neutral in party primaries. [...] House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., held a Capitol Hill fundraiser for Johnson."
- Isenstadt, Alex (14 June 2010). "Boehner, Cantor aid D'Annunzio foe". Politico. Capitol News Company.
- Staff Reports (2010-07-22). "Johnson defeats D'Annunzio". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2010-09-02. "he AP called the race around 9 p.m. With most 8th District counties reporting, Johnson, a former Charlotte sportscaster, had 61 percent of the vote over D'Annunzio."
- "NC - Election Results". North Carolina State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Morrill, Jim (24 June 2010). "D'Annunzio: 'A man without a country'". Campaign Tracker. The Charlotte Observer.
- "North Carolina - Election Results 2010". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). 2009.
- Phillips, Gregory (2012-05-08). "Tim D'Annunzio wins GOP nomination in 4th Congressional District". The Fayetteville Observer.
- Calhoun, Jennifer (7 November 2012). "U.S. Rep. David Price beats Tim D'Annunzio in 4th District". The Fayetteville Observer.
- Morill, Jim (27 February 2014). "Controversial former candidate making Senate bid". The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: McClatchy Publishing. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
- Morrill, Jim (1 March 2010). "D'Annunzio: Abolish much of the government". Campaign Tracker. The Charlotte Observer.
- "A Simple Choice". Christ's War. 2010-05-03. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. "Here is the four year plan for the revitalization of the US Federal Government."