Dome: Stam gets another challenger for House spot

FROM STAFF REPORTSNovember 15, 2012 

State Rep. Bert Jones, a Rockingham Republican, will seek the No. 2 post in the House, making it a three-way race.

Jones, 50, was first elected as an independent in 2010 and chose to caucus with Republicans. He ran for re-election this year as a Republican. He is competing for speaker pro tem against two veterans – House GOP leader Paul “Skip” Stam of Apex and Rep. Julia Howard of Mocksville – but says his relative inexperience is an asset.

“We are blessed with a good combination of talented incoming members and experienced ones,” he said. “I think the incoming class will have a substantial impact, and that is a good thing. We need fresh ideas at the table, and we are a better legislature when all members have a good opportunity to contribute.”

Jones also noted that other states with term limits have leaders with fewer years in the chamber. He said he would support whoever is elected.

Republicans will gather Saturday and in December to pick leaders.

Rouzer and McIntyre

Rep. Mike McIntyre, incumbent representative of District 7, and his challenger, David Rouzer, are both in the Beltway brushing shoulders and posing for pictures with members of the 113th Congress.

With the race seemingly destined for a recount, it remains unclear who is shaking hands with future colleagues. McIntyre, an eight-term Democrat, was leading Republican Rouzer by 483 votes before all provisional ballots have been considered by county boards. The State Board of Elections is expected to declare a winner by Friday afternoon.

McIntyre headed back to D.C. earlier this week. So did Rouzer, who Thursday morning was taking what appeared to be a “class photo” of newly elected members, according to a report on WECT, a Wilmington TV station. Jessica Wood, Rouzer’s spokeswoman, told WECT the campaign has no comment.

Foxx takes new post

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk has been elected to one of the lower rungs of the House leadership.

Foxx was elected secretary of the of the House Republican Conference, one of eight positions within the conference. Foxx, 69, was first elected to the House in 2004. Before that, she served a decade in the state Senate.

The conference helps the GOP caucus develop policy. Foxx said she was encouraged to run by outgoing Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

She is one of four female lawmakers out of 14 spots chosen for senior leadership positions by the House and Senate GOP, according to Politico.

Angling at the ‘fiscal cliff’

Sen. Kay Hagan is among six Democratic senators being targeted by the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas industry advocacy group, with print, radio and TV advertisements during the lame duck session of Congress.

The goal of the ads is to build support to preserve tax breaks given to the industry while the much-hyped “fiscal cliff” is discussed over the next few weeks.

North Carolinians may have already noticed the TV ad, which says, “America spoke, loudly, clearly: We want a common-sense plan to help people succeed. Sen. Kay Hagan can make energy a big part of improving our economy. She can choose economic growth and American jobs, not slow them with job-killing energy taxes.”

Similar ads are running in New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia and Arkansas. The group also launched ads supportive of Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who favor the tax breaks.

All the senators targeted face re-election in 2014.

Staff writers John Frank, Rob Christensen and Austin Baird

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