Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Roberts rules out mayor's race, not mayor's job

Former Mecklenburg County commissioners' chair Jennifer Roberts says she's ruled out running for mayor of Charlotte. But not being mayor of Charlotte.

The job was coming open at the end of the year after Mayor Anthony Foxx's decision not to seek a third term. It could come open even earlier after Foxx's nomination Monday to be U.S. transportation secretary. If and when he resigns, council is expected to appoint an interim mayor to fill out his term. 

"I have not made a firm decision on the appointed part," Roberts, a Democrat, said Tuesday. "I've been asked to consider it."

Roberts declined to say who asked her to. Council members are obligated to appoint a Democrat, like Foxx. But they won't name any one who actually intends to run for the job. That includes at least two incumbent council members, Patrick Cannon and David Howard.

State Sen. Dan Clodfelter said Tuesday he's "favorably inclined" to run. Rep. Becky Carney is also thinking about it.

If Clodfelter were to run, and win, Roberts -- who lives four doors away -- might run for his Senate seat.

"That's something I would consider," she says.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wheeler's trial balloon gives Democrats a target

When former Charlotte City Council member Lynn Wheeler told the Charlotte Business Journal she's considering a run for the U.S. Senate next year, she gave state Democrats a ripe target.

Wheeler, a Republican, told the Journal that people “are urging me to run, and I’ve told them I will think about it.” That got picked up by the News & Observer of Raleigh.

That was enough for Ben Ray, the state Democratic party's new Director of Rapid Response. His press release:
RALEIGH--Former Charlotte Mayor Pro Tempore Lynn Wheeler is considering running for Senate, reinforcing the weak and unsettled nature of the field of potential candidates against Senator Kay Hagan. Washington, D.C. Republicans have already seen two of their favored candidates, U. S. Representatives George Holding and Patrick McHenry, pass on the race.
Wheeler’s trial balloon makes an expensive and politically damaging primary campaign that much more likely. Each remaining potential candidate is deeply flawed, and will face substantial challenges to even emerge from a primary campaign...

Wheeler could not be reached.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A 3rd party in the Palmetto State?

Jim Rex was South Carolina's last Democratic state official. Oscar Lovelace ran for governor as a Republican.

Now the two are trying to bring another voice to politics in South Carolina and maybe eventually, to the rest of the country.

They're touting a new "American Party" as an alternative to the two main parties. They've been pushing the idea around the state and on Wednesday plan to hold an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. at Rock Hill's York Tech.

Their platform: Term limits, fiscal accountability and a "non-partisan problem-solving agenda." The point, says Rex, a former state superintendent of education, is to "give moderates a choice."

"What we're trying to do is change the game, not advantage or disadvantage one team or another," says Rex.

"If we're ever to going to change the system you've got to have a disruptive force from outside .... I've learned by being a candidate, and also by being an incumbent, the limitations of incumbency and candidacy in the duopoly we have in this country. The system persists and perseveres. Good people come and go."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Clodfelter eyes mayoral bid

A few weeks ago longtime Democratic Sen. Dan Clodfelter raised eyebrows when he said he might run for the Charlotte City Council. Now he might run for mayor.

"I'm very seriously considering it," he said Tuesday. "I've been getting a great deal of encouragement."

Clodfelter isn't the only one -- or only legislator -- looking at the race since incumbent Democrat Anthony Foxx said this month he won't run for a third term. Democratic Reps. Becky Carney and state Sen. Malcolm Graham have said they're considering it.

Clodfelter said he could make a decision by the end of the month.

"When people reach out to you," he said, "
you want to think seriously about what they're asking you to do."