A headline and item in the Under the Dome column on Page 3B Thursday incorrectly said that Planned Parenthood took credit for the defeat of Rep. Jim Crawford for his vote on the abortion bill. Planned Parenthood political action groups, incorporated as a separate nonprofit organization, worked against Crawford. The item was incorrect in stating the position of Paige Johnson. She is vice president of public affairs of the PAC, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina.
****** It was payback time for state Rep. Jim Crawford, a conservative Democrat from Oxford who crossed Planned Parenthood with his flip vote for the controversial abortion bill last year. Crawford, a 28-year incumbent, was knocked out by fellow Democrat Rep. W.A. Winkie Wilkins in a redrawn district that favored Wilkins. Crawford lost by a 56-37 percent margin.
Crawford ran afoul of fellow party members when he joined the ranks of four other conservative Democrats to vote against the governors budget. But it was his switch vote on the controversial abortion bill the one requiring women get ultrasound exams, receive counseling and wait 24 hours before having an abortion that may have cast his fate.
On Wednesday, a Planned Parenthood affiliate claimed victory in his defeat, saying it campaigned for Wilkins as part of its drive to support pro-choice candidates. Crawford joined his party in voting against the abortion-restriction bill. But then he and three other renegade Democrats voted to override the governors veto, providing the one-vote margin needed to salvage the bill. Tillis later appointed Crawford co-chairman of the powerful appropriations committee.
Nowhere has the war against women been waged more viciously than in North Carolina, Planned Parenthoods Paige Johnson said in a statement. Yesterdays defeat of Jim Crawford by Winkie Wilkins, shows clearly that women have had enough.
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central North Carolina and Planned Parenthood Health Systems Action Fund were the entities involved in North Carolina's Primary Election. They are separately incorporated 501 c(4) organizations.
Another House member infamously in the news last year appears to have lost his seat, too. Rep. Stephen LaRoque, the Kinston Republican who was under investigation for his handling of two private nonprofit groups he operates, trailed John Bell of Wayne County by just 54 votes.
He told The Associated Press that he will call for a recount because his supporters want it, although he doesnt expect it will change the outcome. LaRoque has been a key part of the House Speaker Thom Tillis leadership team, as co-chairman of the House Rules Committee.
Baldwin seeks chair
Mary Ann Baldwin, a Raleigh councilwoman, put her name in the running Wednesday for state Democratic Party chair. The partys top activists will meet Saturday to pick a new leader after Chairman David Parker announced he would step aside amid questions of his handling of a sexual harassment scandal at party headquarters.
Baldwin sent an email to Democrats that didnt mention the controversy but did promise to Raise a little bit of hell! when it comes to countering Republicans.
State Sen. Don Vaughan is the other candidate in the race for chairman. But he hit early troubles after activists noted his connection to the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative policy group under fire nationally.
Holdings opponent unclear
So, will it really be a slam-dunk for George Holding in the November general election contest for the 13th Congressional District? Holding won handily Tuesday, and the redrawn district is strongly Republican.
Plus, there was no strong Democratic opponent. The man who got the most votes, Charles Malone, had said he was dropping out of the race because of health problems.
But in the light of the day after, Malone isnt so sure whats going to happen. Hes feeling better after a scare involving his heart (not a heart attack) and concern over a family history of heart problems. He said he has been reconsidering for a few weeks.
He said Wednesday morning that hes continuing to talk with the Democratic Party to see if they can come up with a viable candidate. An executive committee of Democrats in the district can select his replacement. If not, its possible he would run after all.
We dont want there to be a guessing game, leaving voters wondering, Malone said. Im sorry there has been this doubt. But were all human and you have to pay attention to these things and make sure youre doing the right thing for your family as well as the public. If you cant govern yourself, you have no business telling other people what to do.
Malone, 64, is an equal employment opportunity officer at the state Department of Natural Resources. He ran against Republican Sen. Neal Hunt in 2010.
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