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John Walter Bryant: Mystery Candidate

Wheres the Beef

When I spoke with John Bryant back in March, I had questions about whether he would be a strong candidate in the Wake County DA primary race for the Republican nomination. After all, he’s a former Democrat who has lost a number of state elections. However, he has been a private attorney for decades, has a close relationship with North Carolina Senator Richard Burr and is the recipient of Holding money.

While Allen Swaim has been a nonentity in the election (no money, no support), Jefferson Griffin and Jeff Cruden have made formidable showings, raising significant amounts in small dollar donations, appearing at a large number of events, securing nominations from various groups and political supporters, with websites, and flyers, and mailings to show for it. They are working hard for the nomination.

I can’t even find John Bryant’s website even when I search for John Bryant Wake County District Attorney. Try it. I dare you. All I see is a lot (relatively) of money in large dollar donations. That can be valuable. I’d love to see the campaign somewhere, other than the relatively few signs I’ve seen when traveling around Raleigh.

And yet one political observer I spoke to this week predicts that Bryant will win the nomination. I just don’t see it. I don’t see the signs. I don’t see the flyers. And I haven’t seen or heard the media blitz.

I can see Zellinger beating Freeman on the sheer power of SEANC mailings and his own money. I can see Freeman winning with the Democratic Party establishment’s support. I can see Griffin winning on the power of a well organized campaign by a proven conservative with support from people such as Wake NC House Representative Tom Murray, Wake County Commissioner Phil Matthews, and Mayor Pro Tem John Odom.

I can also see Griffin and Cruden (Cruden has run a fine campaign with support from law enforcement groups) in a runoff, neither having garnered the 40 percent necessary to win the primary.

But Bryant? As the old 1980s Wendy’s commercial goes, Where’s the beef?

If you have a thought, shoot me an email at

Update: After multiple searches for multiple terms on Google, I found Bryant’s site. If you can send me the link to ( I will name you “Seeker of Lost Campaign Websites” for the remainder of the primary season.)

It turns out that Bryant held a campaign fundraiser at the Angus Barn on April 24, 2014, 5 days after the April 19 first quarter campaign finance filing deadline deadline. Since the campaign has not made a filing within 48 hours to acknowledge an in-kind contribution, the campaign is paying for this fundraiser out of pocket which is a significant expenditure that may be worthwhile if offset by donation’s from Raleigh’s country club crowd.



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