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Lee County college trustees sue over law kicking them off board

The General Assembly passed a number of laws this session that prompted city and county officials to object to the state sticking its nose in local business. Here’s another:

A superior court judge has issued a temporary restraining order delaying a new law from going into effect that removed four trustees from the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees, effective this past Thursday.

The four former trustees are all either registered Democrats or independents, and were appointed by the Democratic-led Lee County school board. Four appointees from the Republican-majority Lee County Board of Commissioners were not replaced.

The four removed trustees – Tony Lett, Chet Mann, Janet Perkinson Hayes and Norman Post Jr. – filed suit seeking a judge to declare the law unconstitutional on several grounds, including that it is “arbitrary and capricious.”

The bill, HB512, was sponsored by Rep.Mike Stone, a Republican from Sanford. It removed the four trustees before their terms ended, and prevented them from seeking re-election immediately.

The Sanford Herald reported that Stone didn’t know about the lawsuit, but said the legislation was “totally legit" and would benefit the college and local communities.

Morning Memo: What voters want to hear McCrory say in State of State

McCRORY TO SIGN FIRST BILL, GIVE STATE OF STATE ADDRESS: As expected, Gov. Pat McCrory is making the most of an education bill that hit his desk last week, as opposed to another that will cut unemployment benefits. From AP: McCrory planned to put his signature on a law Monday morning in Asheboro that requires the State Board of Education develop by the fall of 2014 new diplomas that make clear a student is ready for college, ready a vocational career, or both. The bill received final approval from the General Assembly last week. McCrory was scheduled to visit Randolph Community College's industrial center for the bill signing. The bill's primary sponsor is from Randolph County.

The bill also tells the state board to look at ways to make it easier to license vocational and technical teachers. The new law fits well into McCrory's campaign platform about public schools preparing students for the work world.

***Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo. Apologies for Dome's technical difficulties last week. The blog back in shape now. Click below for more North Carolina political news.

Lee County Dems call on local GOP leader to resign

Democrats in Lee County are making hay of comments a local Republican leader made to a Los Angeles Times reporter.

Charles Staley, chairman of the county GOP, said during a recent interview with Hector Becerra that Republicans are wrongly cast as anti-Latino, anti-Black and for “the rich white man, and not there for the poor people who don’t have a job.”

Staley argued that nothing could be further from the truth, but his reasoning upset county Democratic chairwoman Ann McCracken. 

Adams may run for GOP chair

A former Lee County commissioner is pondering a run for GOP chair.

Chad Adams, who served on the Lee board of commissioners from 1998 to 2006, said he's been approached about replacing outgoing state party chairwoman Linda Daves.

"The first couple calls, you think they're just being nice," he said. "But then a number of other calls came from people that I think a lot of, so I went home and talked to my wife."

Adams, 41, served as chairman of the Lee County Republican Party from 2000 to 2002 and as treasurer in the 1990s.

A fifth-generation resident of Lee County, he now works as development vice president for the John Locke Foundation, raising money for the conservative think tank. He also serves as director of the related Center for Local Innovation, which focuses on local government.

If he ran, Adams said he would focus on recruiting candidates for local office, boosting fundraising for the party and getting back "the conservative mantle on fiscal policy."

"We need to make it a much more nimble, forward-thinking kind of party," he said.

Former state Sens. Woody White and Fred Smith are considering a run for chair, and Guilford County stockbroker Marcus Kindley is already running.

D.A.: Not much bias in my campaign

Susan Doyle says she's faced more bias over age than gender.

The district attorney, a Republican who represents Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties, is one of only seven (out of 43) elected D.A.s in North Carolina who are women.

But she doubted there was a significant bias against women in that role.

"I think it was just a natural progression of more women beginning to go to law school and then more women being interested in jobs in criminal prosecution," she said. 

Doyle, who is 40 but looks young, said she has faced some questions from voters and other lawyers about whether she's old enough to be a D.A. 

"I frequently got comments like 'You're too young," even though I had served as an assistant district attorney for 13 years," she said. "Once people found that out, then they were OK."

Doyle said she was not too concerned when she planned her campaign.

"I didn't focus on my obstacles as a female as opposed to my obstacles as a first-time politician," she said. 

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