Under the Dome

Former Raleigh mayor heads state Ports Authority

August 26, 2012 

Tom Bradshaw, a former mayor of Raleigh and once head of the state Department of Transportation, has taken over as the new executive director of the N.C. State Ports Authority.

Bradshaw, who was an investment banker by profession, takes over the position in an upper-management shift. Carl Stewart Jr. is leaving as chairman of the Ports Authority Board of Directors, the Wilmington Star-News reports.

Bradshaw, who served as mayor of Raleigh from 1971-73 and transportation secretary from 1977-81, will retain his role as statewide logistics director. That gives Bradshaw responsibility for the Ports Authority and the N.C. Global TransPark in Kinston, both of which became part of the transportation department last year.

“This is the next logical step in leveraging the state’s resources to better serve shippers and freight commerce and position North Carolina to better compete in the global economy,” transportation Secretary Gene Conti said in a news release.

Alex MacFadyen, vice chairman of the Ports Authority Board of Directors, said, “I’m so pleased that we have a person of Tom Bradshaw’s caliber to take this key leadership role.”

Besides his work with First Boston, Bradshaw has worked with Smith Barney and Citigroup, and is former chairman of the Triangle J Council of Governments, the NC Environmental Management Commission, North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry and the NC Public School Forum.

Bradshaw’s first action was to appoint Jeff Strader as deputy executive director. Strader will continue in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer. Strader had served as interim Executive Director for the last eight months.

The Star-News said the governor’s office indicated Gov. Bev Perdue would appoint a replacement for Stewart in a few weeks. Stewart was a former state lawmaker, and was speaker of the House for two terms in the 1970s.

The Ports Authority oversees operations in Wilmington, Morehead City, Charlotte and Greensboro.

Grop pinned, ready in Tampa

The state’s Republican convention delegation is in Tampa for the festivities that begin Tuesday, and they’ll all be wearing the same pin.

It was designed by Vinne DeBenedetto, a delegation member and former Holly Springs councilman.

His red-white-and-blue state map features the state slogan esse quam videri (“To be rather than to seem”). DeBenedetto, who attended the 2008 confab in Minnesota, had help from Brant Chester of Holly Springs.

8th District race close

No matter what side polls the hotly contested 8th Congressional District race, it’s a dead heat.

Republican Richard Hudson released an internal poll last week showing him with a one-point advantage, 38 percent to 37 percent with a quarter of voters undecided, or essentially a statistical tie. The polling memo from OnMessage, a GOP firm, did not release the poll questions or margin of error, making it difficult to gauge the authenticity of the numbers.

A week earlier, Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell released his own internal poll showing him with a four-point lead, again a tie. The margin of error on the Anzalone Liszt poll was plus-or-minus 4.4 percent, though the specifics of the poll were not disclosed, so its credibility is unclear.

Edwards not invited to DNC

This news won’t surprise many in North Carolina: John Edwards was not invited to the Democratic National Convention.

It went without saying, but The Weekly Standard couldn’t resist: “When asked whether John Edwards has been invited to next month’s Democratic National Committee’s convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a Democratic convention official had only one word for THE WEEKLY STANDARD: ‘No.’ ”

Edwards, the state’s former U.S. senator, once stood on the big stage at the convention in 2004 as the vice presidential candidate.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis John Frank

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