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Add another candidate to the race to replace Mel Watt

George Battle III announced Tuesday he would enter the race to replace Congressman Mel Watt in a Charlotte area district.

Battle, a Democrat, is the attorney for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, a post he's held since 2010. He is the son of Bishop George Battle Jr., a former school board chairman.

Jim Gardner pokes fun at Jim Hunt

Former Republican Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner had a little fun with his former political rival Jim Hunt as he played emcee at Saturday's inauguration.

"Is this not a great day in North Carolina," he asked toward the end of the ceremony. "And I'm even up here clapping for Jim Hunt," he added to laughter.

Hunt, the former four-term Democratic governor, did not attend the ceremony. But Bishop George Battle Jr, of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, countered for him.

Saying he had something in common with Gardner, he said, "I used to serve you at the country club. So let's be careful about what you say about my governor Jim Hunt."

Sit down and pray

The crowd was standing when Bishop George Battle took the stage.

The Charlotte bishop told the crowd to sit down while he led the invocation for Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue's inauguration.

"I can pray for an hour and a half," he said, earning the first laugh of the day.

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