Friday, December 22, 2006

Orr for governor in '08?

Most of the speculation about Republican and Democratic candidates for governor in 2008 for most of this year focused on Sen. Fred Smith of Johnston County and lawyer Bill Graham of Salisbury for the GOP and Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue and Treasurer Richard Moore for the Democrats.
But one candidate whose name keeps popping up lately is former Supreme Court Associate Justice Bob Orr, a Republican who won four out of five statewide races when he served on the N.C. Court of Appeals and then moved to the Supreme Court.
Orr toyed briefly with running as an independent or third-party candidate after last fall’s elections, when folks were looking for an alternative to the candidates the two largest parties would put up. But Orr said he realized the best way for him to run, if he chooses to do so, would be in the 2008 Republican primary for governor.
Orr retired from the N.C. Supreme Court in 2004 after gaining a reputation there as one of its brightest lights. He wrote the court’s landmark decision in the long-running Leandro schools case, outlining the state’s failure to provide a sound basic education to too many of its school students and questioning how many more classes would pass through the state’s schools without learning what they need to know. If you want to know his thinking on education and the state’s responsibility, that decision will tell you a lot.
For the past couple of years, Orr has been executive director and senior counsel for the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, set up in large measure by businessman Art Pope “to conduct research, educate and advise the general public, policy makers, and the Bar on the rights of citizens under the constitutions” of the United States and North Carolina. They’re the folks who challenged the constitutionality of tax incentives to recruit industry.
Orr says he’s “extremely encouraged” by the response to his potential candidacy and believes the race is still wide open at this point. It is – but money favors candidates who have it, and Orr isn’t personally wealthy and will need to raise a bundle to be competitive.
He would run, he says, with an emphasis on his ties to Western North Carolina. Folks in the Western counties believe political power has “shifted dramatically to the East, at the expense of the Western part of the state.” He grew up in Hendersonville, practiced law in Asheville and owns property and votes in Yancey County, though he has lived in Raleigh for years while serving on the courts and has stayed there since. He would be the first Western governor since Jim Holshouser, a Watauga County Republican who served from 1973-77, and before that Dan Moore, a Haywood County Democrat who served 1965-69.
Orr was appointed to the Court of Appeals the first time by Gov. Jim Martin in September 1986. Orr says Martin told him, “No Republican has won a statewide judicial race since 1896 so don’t sell your house yet.” It was good advice. Orr lost that first appellate court election to Judge Eddie Greene, with whom he remains good friends. Orr was reappointed to the bench and beat John Friday, brother of former UNC President Bill Friday,in the first of his four straight statewide election victories in the judicial branch.
Orr said he hadn’t asked Gov. Martin for the court appointment or any other job. “The only thing I ever asked him for was two tickets on opening night of the Smith Center (at his alma mater UNC Chapel Hill), and the governor delivered,” laughs Orr.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just what we all need Judge ORR running for Governor; We would all be doing a goose step to the religious right; Ein ,svwine, thrine , fier. Bob Orr will pick up where Bush left off with Jerry Farewell running things at the advice of ART POPE the great Blue Blood with a mire 600 million in the bank. Go ahead ARTie finance another robtron for the Evangelists.

Anonymous said...

ARt POpe the Puppet master of the South; Go ahead artie hard swing to the right with you draw string and make their hips stiff. Charlotte the place where you have a car dealer on every block next to a church on every block, meanwhile, Gangs , prostitution and violent burgalury is cropping up all over. I love it no one must go to church here but the Ministers .

Anonymous said...

why dont ART POPE just run for something himself instead of standing behind a curtain like the "WIZARD OF OZZ". He no doubt has the brains to run this State like it has been for 50 years anyway. This State runs itself.

Anonymous said...

Hey idiot, Art Pope ran for Lt. Governor in 1992, and he has been elected to the General Assembly of NC.

Anonymous said...

ART POPE runs the John Locke foundation ; Art Ppe tries to and does buy LAWS in N.C. nothing wrong with that LOTTERY companies are too. Thats why they like People poor here in N.C. they greasy palms after a while in the dirt.

Anonymous said...

orr for governor, hell yes i will vote for him.

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