McCrory appoints executives, campaign donors to economic development board
Posted July 15, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed a slate of 22 business executives, most of who are also campaign donors, to the North Carolina Economic Development Board.
The 37-member board, which will hold a meeting on Wednesday, "oversees state economic development research and planning and makes policy recommendations to the secretary of commerce, the governor and the General Assembly."
As a group, McCrory's appointees contributed more than $72,000 to his 2012 run for office. It is not unusual for governors to reward campaign backers with appointments to key policy-making bodies.
John Lassiter, president of Carolina Legal Staff, will chair the board. He is a former Charlotte City Council member and adviser to McCrory. Campaign finance records showed he gave $2,000 during the 2012 campaign cycle.
Jim Whitehurst will serve as vice chairman of the board. He is president and chief executive of Red Hat, a software developer that recently moved its headquarters to downtown Raleigh. Campaign finance records showed Whitehurst gave $4,000 to McCrory during the 2012 cycle.
Other notable names among McCrory's appointments include:
- Terry Hutchens, a lawyer with Hutchens, Senter, Kellam & Pettit. Campaign finance records show his name attached to $12,415.32 in donations to McCrory in 2011 and 2012, although much of that was "in kind" contributions.
- Fred Smith, a former state senator and candidate for governor who ran in the primary against McCrory in 2008. He is the founder of Fred Smith Co. and CEO of C.C. Mangum, a road building company. Campaign finance records show he gave $3,869.94 to McCrory.
- Thomas Skains, president and CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas. Campaign finance records show Skains gave $8,000 to the McCrory campaign during the 2012 cycle.
- Kelly King, CEO of BB&T and chairman of the Piedmont Triad Economic Development Partnership. Records show he gave the McCrory campaign $1,000.