by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• He’s in! Attorney General Roy Cooper made it official Monday: He’s running for governor against incumbent Republican Pat McCrory. First, Cooper will have to take care of Durham attorney Ken Spaulding in the March 15 Democratic primary. Read Dan Way’s account of the Cooper announcement at Carolina Journal Online.
• She’s out! Two-term state Treasurer Janet Cowell surprisingly announced she would retire at the end of her term. Cowell, a Democrat, earlier turned down an opportunity to challenge incumbent GOP U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, and, until recently, had told supporters and the public she would seek a third term as treasurer.
• He’s out! State Rep. Duane Hall, D-Wake, who considered challenging Burr, has said he won’t. To date, the only Democrat who definitely is running is Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey, though former state Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, is expected to join the race.
• After House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced his retirement, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-3rd District, immediately caused a stir. Jones said rumors of an affair between Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarty of California prompted him to write a letter to GOP House leaders asking them to come clean about any “misdeeds” before becoming candidates for leadership posts. McCarthy and Ellmers denied any inappropriate relationship but McCarthy removed himself as a possible successor to Boehner.
• Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., made a stop Saturday in Asheville for his presidential campaign. He said he’s giving his full attention to the run for the White House even though he intends simultaneously to seek a second term in the Senate.