Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker acknowledged Wednesday he is thinking about running for governor in 2016.
Meeker told Dome he believes he is one of about a dozen Democrats with the background, contacts and potential to unseat first-term Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
He said he's considering a return to the campaign trail, but that no serious decisions would be made until after the 2014 mid-term elections.
Meeker was mayor of Raleigh from 2001 to 2011, a period that saw growth across the city and in downtown especially. He did not seek re-election in 2011 for what would have been a record-setting sixth term as mayor.
He was a council member before that for eight years. Raleigh operates under a weak-mayor form of government, with a hired city manager in charge of day-to-day operations.
Meeker is a longtime lawyer in the Raleigh office of the Parker Poe law firm, where he has specialized in governmental issues.
Meeker told Dome he's concerned about job growth in North Carolina. He said he's studying policies and ideas he thinks would lift up the entire state, especially outside the more prosperous crescent from Raleigh to Charlotte.
At least two other Democrats have declared their intentions to run: Durham lawyer Ken Spaulding and Chapel Hill businessman and blogger James Protzman. Attorney General Roy Cooper, one of the state's leading Democrats, has been considering a run as well.
— Staff writer J. Andrew Curliss