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Personnel file: Robert Wilson, longtime state official, retiring

Robert Wilson, longtime assistant secretary of state and legislative liaison for the Secretary of State's office, is retiring next month, the Insider reports.

Wilson has worked in the Secretary of State's office since 1991. A 33-year veteran of state government, he also worked in the Department of Correction and community college system.

More water for Senate tea leaves

It's time to refresh the old cup of Senate tea leaves.

The Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2010 continues to be completely wide open, though it's increasingly clear that most of the major state officials will pass on it.

Here's the latest conventional wisdom:

THE LAST BIG HOPE: Washington Democrats and national political pundits continue to search for a brand name. U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre is still toying with a run, and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has lately dipped her toe in the water. A definitive "no" has not come from state Sen. Dan Blue yet.

DARK HORSES: Former state Sen. Cal Cunningham leads the pack of dark horses, though former Obama fundraiser Kenneth Lewis can't be counted out. Marshall's legislative liaison, Robert Wilson, told the Insider he was flirting with the idea, but he never returned Dome's calls and he would not likely run against his boss.

WHO'S NOT RUNNING: U.S. Reps. Heath Shuler, Bob Etheridge and Brad Miller, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, Attorney General Roy Cooper, state Sen. Malcolm Graham, state Reps. Grier Martin and Tricia Cotham, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, and Elizabeth Edwards have all said no. Of course, so did Kay Hagan in 2008.

In Dome's view, Marshall may actually make a run for it: 1) She's interested, since she ran for Senate in 2002; 2) she wouldn't lose her day job (unlike McIntyre or Blue); and 3) at 63, this is probably her last chance to do it.

That said, Cunningham has a good biography and seems to be exciting the netroots.

Legislative liaison ponders run

Elaine Marshall's legislative liaison is considering a run for Senate.

Robert Wilson, who currently works for the Democratic secretary of state, told the Insider on Tuesday that he might run for the nomination to face U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

Wilson is a 28-year veteran of state government who has also worked for the Department of Correction and the state community college system.

"If I get in it, I will be in it to win it," he said.

As of November, he made $85,005 as legislative affairs program manager for Marshall. 

Marshall, the longest-serving member of the Council of State, ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2002.

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