Dome: New first lady declines lunch

FROM STAFF REPORTSJanuary 3, 2013 

Ann McCrory, the wife of incoming Gov. Pat McCrory, won’t host a first lady’s luncheon as part of the inaugural festivities next week.

The Junior League organizes the luncheon, but Ann McCrory declined to attend and didn’t offer a reason, organizers said.

Mary Easley, the wife of Gov. Mike Easley, started the tradition in 2000 and continued it in 2004. But Bob Eaves, the husband of Gov. Bev Perdue, declined to do a first gentleman’s lunch in 2008.

Ann McCrory has remained largely out of the spotlight during her husband’s gubernatorial run, rarely appearing on the campaign trail.

High hopes for women

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan was featured in an ABC News broadcast Thursday about the record number of female senators being sworn in Thursday. The Democrat joined 19 of the 20 women for an interview with Diane Sawyer.

Hagan gets far less airtime than some of her colleagues, according to a transcript of the show, but at one point expressed hope that there will be a female nominee for president in 2016.

Responding to the topic about women serving in Congress, Hagan said, “Diane, on that point I think if you look at research women tend to be mentored and encouraged to run for office, versus our male counterparts who just tend to jump right in. There could be some disagreement here. But I think when it’s an opportunity, whenever I speak to school groups and in particular any sort of groups with young women in it, I’ve always encouraged them: ‘I am recruiting you right now to run for office, whether it’s the local school board, county commissioner, city council, all the way up to federal office – Senate, House, president.’ It is critical that we, as Senator Landrieu said, encourage young women to take that next step and actually file and run for office.”

The interview aired on “World News” and “Nightline.”

Perdue packing up

Gov. Bev Perdue is spending Friday, her final full day as the state’s chief executive, touring two schools in Onslow County. The visits put her final focus on one of her top issues: education.

Perdue and her husband have been gradually moving items from the Executive Mansion in the past few weeks. They will move the final boxes Saturday morning. At noon, the Democratic governor plans to attend Gov.-elect Pat McCrory’s swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol before departing for the final time.

Dalton will teach

The Associated Press reports that outgoing Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton will teach a class on Southern politics starting next week at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, not far from his hometown of Rutherfordton. The attorney also said he would serve as special counsel for now to school President Frank Bonner.

Dalton was a state senator for 12 years before getting elected lieutenant governor in 2008. Dalton’s successor, Republican Dan Forest, gets sworn in Monday.

Staff writer John Frank

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