Local News

More Call For Cobb To Concede State Ag Commissioner Race

Posted January 5, 2005

— There are new calls for State Agriculture Commissioner Britt Cobb to give up the fight and concede the race. The requests come from Republican Congressman Walter Jones -- and even some local Democratic leaders -- who say a new statewide election is too expensive.

Cobb trails Republican Steve Troxler. He said he has no intentions of backing down.

"No. I have not considered conceding," Cobb said.

Election officials say the election will cost the state at least six figures.

"(It will cost ) anywhere from as low as $100,000 being probably the very lowest end, to as high as three-quarters of a million dollars," said Kim Strach, of the N.C. Board of Elections.

But, running a new statewide campaign won't be easy. In the November election, Cobb outraised and outspent Republican Troxler 4 to 1. Now the candidates have to raise money again.

Troxler got a jump on Cobb a month ago on fund raising, announcing a high-profile fund-raising team, including Congressman Walter Jones and Republican heavyweight Jim Cain. Observers say Britt Cobb will have to do the same.

"He needs some party support," said David McLennan, a political analyst. "He needs some support of big names in the Democratic party."

But so far, the Democratic party has been silent. Still, Cobb believes support is there.

"I have talked with the governor a number of times through this process," Cobb said. "I've been talking with people in the Democratic party, I've been talking with Democratic leadership around the state, I've been talking with my supporters around the state."

Legally, Easley can not get involved in the battle over state Ag commissioner.

Cobb doesn't even have history on his side in the new election: Of three dozen second elections in the past, the trailing candidate has only won one.


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