Under the Dome

Edwards is rich, but Mitt's No. 1

Staff WriterDecember 25, 2007 

Money magazine says John Edwards is worth $54.7 million.

In an article on the millionaires running for president, the financial magazine estimated the net worth of the former North Carolina senator, based on his investments and income.

Most of his money comes from awards he won as a medical malpractice and personal-injury attorney, but it also includes hedge fund investments with Fortress Investment Group and North Carolina county bonds.

The magazine quotes an investment manager as saying Edwards should reduce his holdings in hedge funds because they come with high fees and more risk.

Edwards is not the richest candidate, however. That would be Republican Mitt Romney, who is worth between $92.3 million and $276.2 million.

Edwards is richer than Democratic rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton ($34.9 million) and Barack Obama ($1.3 million).

Immigrants supported

Let them in, the Rev. William Barber II, head of the state NAACP, said Monday at a news conference in support of giving illegal immigrants access to higher education.

Barber, along with representatives from the Hispanic business Adelante, likened the plight of immigrants to the Bible's Mary and Joseph, who were turned away from an inn on Christmas Eve.

Barber cited examples throughout history of poor treatment of immigrants and praised Martin Lancaster, the outgoing president of the state's community college system, and Gov. Mike Easley for supporting a policy that allows illegal immigrants to attend college.

The issue has been a lightning rod in politics, with each of the major candidates for governor speaking out against a policy of forcing community colleges to admit illegal immigrants.

"We must open the inn," Barber said. "Instead of tearing people apart, we must bring people together and open up the inn."

Foxx backs Romney

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx has endorsed Romney.

The Banner Elk Republican released a statement last week saying she supported Romney's work on immigration and health, as well as his "leadership, experience, vision and values."

Among the state's Republicans, Rep. Sue Myrick is supporting former Sen. Fred Thompson, and Sen. Richard Burr is backing Sen. John McCain.

The state's Democrats -- Reps. G.K. Butterfield, Bob Etheridge, Mike McIntyre, Brad Miller, David Price, Heath Shuler and Mel Watt -- have endorsed Edwards.

Still on the sidelines: Reps. Patrick McHenry, Robin Hayes, Walter Jones and Howard Coble and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, all Republicans.

ryan.teague.beckwith@newsobserver.com or 919-836-4944

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