Under the Dome

Dome: Foxx, Charlotte mayor, says Dems gearing up to defend Hagan

January 22, 2013 

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx says North Carolina Democrats are preparing for a major battle in defending Sen. Kay Hagan’s seat in 2014. “It’s gonna be one of the biggest Senate races in the country,” Foxx told POLITICO this weekend while in Washington to attend the inaugural. “And that’s going to be a fight.’’

Foxx also commented on the drubbing that North Carolina Democrats took on election day.

“I think it’s incumbent on North Carolina Democrats to do what national Republicans are doing, which is to huddle up and figure out what happened and to think about what the implications are and what happened and to think about what the implications are and what needs to happen going forward to build a case for progressive politics in North Carolina,’’ he said.

A number of Republicans are already expressing various levels of interest in challenging Hagan, including House Speaker Thom Tillis and state Sen. Leader Phil Berger.

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of Dunn, whose name is also being mentioned, is beginning to move around the state. She is, for example, scheduled to speak at the Gaston County Lincoln Day Dinner in Gastonia on Feb 23.

Foxx, who is being mentioned as a potential opponent to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016, said he did not know whether he would seek statewide office.

“I have such a full plate doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t want to put myself ahead of where I am. But I do think this is gonna mark a generational change and that could be a good thing for the Democratic Party.’’

Report focuses on McCrory’s 3 major contributors

A Democratic group estimates that three major contributors either directly or indirectly gave $2.5 million to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s election bids and all ended up with top spots in his administration.

A report released over the weekend from ProgressNC, a Democratic group, contrasts the large contributions with McCrory comments during the campaign that he intended to reform “the good-old-boy and good-old-girl patronage system of state government.’’ The report is called “Price of Power: Cost of a McCrory Cabinet Post.’’

The report focuses on Art Pope, a Raleigh retail executive and long-time GOP donor, whom McCrory named as his budget director, and Aldna Wos, his secretary of health and human services.

It says that since McCrory became the GOP nominee for governor in May 2008, Pope and his family have contributed $272,751 to McCrory and state Republican Party entities.

In addition, Pope’s Variety Wholesalers gave $886,500 in corporate contributions to independent expenditure groups that spent money on McCrory’s gubernatorial race – such as Real Jobs, the Republican State Leadership Committee and the Republican Governor’s Association.

The report also says that Wos, a physician and former ambassador, was a major contributor and bundler to McCrory.

The report says Wos, her husband and employees of their family company, New Breed Logistics in Greensboro, gave at least $241,497 to the McCrory cause. That includes at least a $25,000 corporate donation from New Breed to the Republican Governor’s Association.

The report also notes that McCrory, who spent 29 years as a Duke Energy employee, has appointed three former Duke colleagues to his administration: Sharon Decker, commerce secretary; Neal Alexander, director of the office of state personnel; and Tony Almeida, the governor’s top economic adviser.

The report said that Duke Energy and its PAC, as well as employees and their families, have donated at least $241,800 to McCrory’s two gubernatorial campaigns and to the state Republican Party since he became the nominee.

Staff writer Rob Christensen

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