Too good to be true

Staff WritersNovember 7, 2002 

It could have been one for the history books -- the first Libertarian elected to the General Assembly.

But even as Cap Hayes, a Jacksonville Libertarian running for a state House seat, got calls about his victory, he knew it couldn't be true.

Hayes hadn't campaigned much, and besides, he had been following the returns and knew he didn't have near enough votes to win.

"I had more of what you'd call a paper candidacy," said Hayes, 21. "I didn't have financial backing. It was confusing, to say the least."

The reporter's call was prompted by a news wire bulletin that Hayes had won in the 14th House District.

According to the corrected but unofficial results, Republican Keith Williams won with 54 percent of the vote, and Hayes came in third with 3 percent.

On road to legislature

Gov. Mike Easley will soon have another spot on the state Board of Transportation to fill.

Clark Jenkins, a Democrat from Tarboro, won election to the state Senate this week in the 3rd Senate District, which includes Edgecombe, Bertie, Washington, Tyrrell and Martin counties and part of Pitt County.

There, Jenkins will join two other former DOT board members, Marc Basnight, the Senate president pro tem from Manteo, and David Hoyle, a Dallas Democrat.

Jenkins, a nine-year veteran of the board, must resign his seat sometime before he is sworn in as a senator in January.

Etheridge skips debate

A little of the energy was let out of a televised forum featuring the 2nd Congressional District candidates last week because incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge of Lillington did not participate.

At a pre-election rally this week, Etheridge explained that he had a standing commitment to flip the coin at a football game in Garner that night.

"I do that almost every Friday night," Etheridge said.

A moderator of the forum sponsored by News 14, the Time Warner Cable 24-hour news station, said station representatives offered to hold the forum on a different night but could not find one that fit Etheridge's schedule.

Etheridge was elected to a fourth term this week.

The anti-executioner

Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who brought national attention to the death penalty issue with his moratorium on executions in his state, will speak at 3 p.m. today at the UNC-Chapel Hill law school.

The lecture, free to the public, will be at the school's Van Hecke-Wettach Hall rotunda. Parking is available in the N.C. 54 visitor lot, three blocks east of the law school.

Ryan was invited because of his central role in the country's ongoing debate about issues of innocence and the death penalty, said Richard Rosen, senior associate dean and faculty adviser for the school's Innocence Project.

In January 2000, after 13 people sentenced to death in Illinois were found to have been wrongfully convicted, Ryan declared a moratorium on executions and established a commission to review the state's system of capital punishment.

In April, the state Commission on Capital Punishment delivered its final report to Ryan, including more than 80 recommendations for change. Clemency hearings for most inmates on Illinois' death row began last month.

By staff writers Lynn Bonner and Matthew Eisley. Bonner can be reached at 829-4821 or lbonner@newsobserver.com.

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