Who else might run for U.S. Senate?
With Attorney General Roy Cooper dropping out of a long-expected run against Republican Sen. Richard Burr, only Durham lawyer Kenneth Lewis is left on the Democratic sid, and even he hasn't committed.
Here's a running list of other contenders:
* Richard Moore: Former state treasurer, failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Why he might run: Ambitious, rich pol who won statewide office twice. Why not: May have damaged brand with 2008 campaign.
* Cal Cunningham: Former state senator, U.S. Army reservist. Why he might run: He's reportedly interested in the race. Why not: He has low statewide name recognition and no current post to run from.
* Charles Meeker: Raleigh mayor who has been mentioned before. Why he might run: Served four terms as popular mayor of one of state's largest cities. Why not: That didn't help Pat McCrory win the governor's mansion.
* Grier Martin: Young turk in state legislature who turned down 2008 recruiting effort. Why he might run: Probably still kicking himself. Why not: Will need tons and tons of money for a guy with no statewide name recognition.
* Bob Etheridge: Congressman, former state schools superintendent. Why he might run: He's won statewide before and is known as an affable campaigner. Why not: He's just landed a spot on the powerful Ways and Means committee.
* Mike McIntyre: Congressman, member of the Blue Dog Coalition. Why he might run: He could match Burr on conservative issues in the general election. Why not: Those same stances would hurt him in a primary.
* Dan Blue: Former House speaker who recently moved over to the state Senate. Why he might run: He ran for Senate nomination in 2002. Why not: His politics may be too liberal for a statewide race; he'd have to give up his seat again.
* Elaine Marshall: Secretary of state now in her fifth term. Why she might run: She ran for the Democratic nomination in 2002. Why not: The longest-serving current member of the Council of State is in a comfortable job now.
* Janet Cowell: State treasurer, former state senator, former Raleigh councilwoman. Why she might run: She's a savvy pol who's climbed the ladder quickly already. Why not: After only a few months in statewide office, it might be too soon.
* Erskine Bowles: University of North Carolina system president, former Clinton chief of staff. Why he might run: He ran in 2002 and 2004. Why not: He lost both times; he's praised Burr; he's already thinking of retiring.