Meeker eyes gubernatorial run in 2016

Posted September 4, 2013
Updated September 6, 2013

— Could two former big-city mayors face off in North Carolina's 2016 gubernatorial election?

Former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said Wednesday that he is considering seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in three years.

Meeker, a lawyer, served as Raleigh mayor for a record 10 years before deciding in 2011 not to seek a sixth two-year term.

"When I left office a couple of years ago, I was thinking I was pretty much done," Meeker said. "But people ask me all the time on the street, 'What can we do? Are you thinking about possibly being a candidate?' And actually I am going to take a look at it in the spring of 2015 to see where things are and see if there's a role for me to play."

He said he believes the state deserves better than the leadership currently in office.

"We have schools, community colleges, that are way, way under-funded," Meeker said. "We have unemployment that is very high in rural communities and our small towns. There are really no programs to address that. We're a much better state than that. We ought to have a much brighter future than what's going on right now."

Charles Meeker Former Raleigh mayor considers run for governor

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has suffered several public relations miscues since he took office in January, from exaggerating his interaction with people protesting the GOP legislative agenda to offering cookies to women calling for him to veto new abortion regulations to the hefty raises given to two young former campaign staffers in their new Department of Health and Human Services jobs.

On Wednesday, lawmakers also gave McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor, a stinging defeat by easily overriding the only two vetoes he issued this session.

Two other Democrats have already said they plan to seek the party's gubernatorial nomination in 2016: Ken Spaulding, a Durham attorney and former lawmaker, and James Protzman, a Chapel Hill businessman.

David McLennan, a political science professor at William Peace University in Raleigh, Meeker's announcement surprised him.

Gubernatorial politics would mark a big leap for Meeker, and he could have an uphill battle to gain traction because he doesn't have statewide name recognition, McLennan said. He also might have difficulty raising money from major Democratic donors, many of whom may have already sided with someone like Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is rumored to be thinking about a 2016 run at governor.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Vote for Pedro Sep 6, 2013

    Not sure my comments were removed, certainly not in bad taste but perhaps by accident. I thought they were a couple of gems:-)

  • gnostradame Sep 6, 2013

    All you regressives knocking poor old mr meeker, who wants to help the rural voters that ya'll have betrayed for corporate/ALEC donations. now that rural people are feeling the pain of your betrayal, i suspect the reign of ALEC will be shortlived, whoever gets the dem nomination in 2016. certainly you folks are stoking the racial fears but it won't work.... people need to live and you regressives are making that harder and harder for rural people, and easier and easier for urban carpetbagger corporate CEOs.

  • xwalk2 Sep 6, 2013

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Thank you Charlie. You just made me laugh this morning and for the last two days. Every day that I drive past your home on Boylan Ave., I keep waiting to see a clown car roll out with the circus that you ran. You are so funny. Seriously, Mr. Meeker, you did what your followers wanted for downtown Raleigh. GOod for you. Stay at home and sit on the front porch and enjoy the traffic rolling by the house. Ole Man you're earned it. Of course Wake County is paying for it, but you earned a good rest. Leave at that. We'll get you a statue in 20 years for being a mayor with vision. Bad vision, but vision none the less. -c2

  • vea1768 Sep 5, 2013

    I sure hope he does not run for anything else even dog catcher because he is a media Freak and was one the news every day for something and now that he is not mayor I guess he is mad because he cant be in front of a dam camera every day over some bull!!!!!

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 5, 2013

    Meeker was geographically challenged.

    When he was running for mayor the first time, he said he supported the completion of the I-540 loop all of the way around Raleigh.

    After he was elected, he backpedaled and said he meant from the airport to knightdale. N

    ot the entire loop.

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 5, 2013

    "I have a friend who moved to TN and even with the 9.25% sales tax, he said he got a $7K pay raise just by not having to pay state income taxes. ConservativeVoter

    Yea, but it's still Tennessee. Perhaps the house next door to him is up for sale, you should check it out.
    Vote for Pedro"

    Seeing that Tennessee is announcing several thousand new jobs and North Carolina is fighting to keep what it has, I think TN has the right idea.

    The State Income Tax is a job killer.

    When you can go to another state and get a $7K pay raise just by moving, there is obviously something wrong going on in NC.

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 5, 2013

    Democrats are such hypocrites.

    They have controlled North Carolina for over a hundred years yet they blame all of the states problems which McCrory inherited on McCrory and the republicans.

    It takes longer than 8 months to fix the problems the Democrats created over the previous hundred years.

  • really02 Sep 5, 2013

    he should run we need higher taxes. More government intrusion. the government will be our saver. The government knows better than you on how you should live.

    Governments have rights people do not. Get used to it now. hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahhaahah

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Sep 5, 2013

    "Yay!!!! Please run, mayor Meeker, and do for the state what you did for Raleigh!!! You were the best mayor ever!!" - peace2u

    :-) I don't generally get too excited about politicians. But I did experience the quality and style of the Meeker administration, and I would vote for the guy.

    "How is he going to hit the hard targets like unemployment when he can't even handle simple stuff?" - Barely

    :-) I imagine Barely is referring to Charles Meeker, but I think his/her comment is more applicable to Pat McCrory, and is indeed a good reason to look forward to Meeker, Cooper, or some other non-incumbent and non-Republican option.

  • Vote for Pedro Sep 5, 2013

    I have a friend who moved to TN and even with the 9.25% sales tax, he said he got a $7K pay raise just by not having to pay state income taxes.

    Yea, but it's still Tennessee. Perhaps the house next door to him is up for sale, you should check it out.