What will Howard Coble do? That’s the big question in North Carolina politics today. The 82-year-old, 15-term congressman has scheduled a press conference at 1:30 p.m. in Greensboro to announce his future plans.
The News & Record: “Let the speculation begin.” So said U.S. Rep. Howard Coble’s chief of staff in announcing a press conference where Coble will disclose “his future political plans.” “You know it’s one of two things,” longtime Coble aide Ed McDonald said Wednesday. “It’s run or leave.” ( Story here.)
If it’s leave, Republicans already are lined up to replace him, most notably Phil Berger Jr., the son of the state Senate president pro tem and a Rockingham County District Attorney. And either way, Democrat Laura Fjeld is poised to make a challenge in a district that leans GOP. What she needs most is a contested Republican primary to boost her chances. Check Dome later for updates.
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee of Information Technology meets at 9 a.m. in room 544 of the legislative office building and the Joint Legislative committee on economic development meet at 10 a.m. in room 643.
Democrat Patrick Cannon’s victory over Republican Edwin Peacock Tuesday continued a trend of Democratic dominance. For the second time in four years, a Democrat beat a well-financed Republican for an open mayoral seat. And for the second straight election, Democrats swept the City Council’s at-large seats on their way to a 9-2 majority.
“The challenge for Republicans in local elections … will be persuading quality candidates to run,” said Eric Heberlig, a political scientist at UNC Charlotte. “(Peacock) was kind of the candidate from central casting. A lot of Republicans would say if he can’t win, how can I?” Read more here.
John Grimes and Thomas “Chip” Price III each got 288 votes Tuesday. On Friday at 4 p.m., the Chatham County Board of Elections will meet and open the five remaining ballots – three provisional and two late absentee ballots.
The board will publicly certify the election at the Pittsboro office on Tuesday. If the tie remains, the Board of Elections will draw names to determine the new mayor, said Dawn Stumpf, the elections director. Read more here.
The review has focused on allegations against Dr. Clay Nichols, the state’s Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, according to state Justice Department spokesperson Noelle Talley. Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said he expects to make a decision about whether to file criminal charges soon.
The SBI investigation is focused on Nichols’ autopsy of Terrell Boykin, a 19-year-old Cumberland County man who was shot to death in 2011. Authorities have yet to charge anyone in Boykin’s death. Read more here.
Obama invited Senate Democrats facing re-election next year to the White House to discuss the problem-plagued health care rollout that could affect their races. The White House confirmed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with 16 senators to describe fixes that are being made to the website. Read more here.
The Division of Motor Vehicles wrote a termination letter in September to MorphoTrak, which was awarded in 2010 the job to develop and manage the state’s Next Generation Secure License program, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Read more here.