Local News

U.S. Senate Run Not Likely In Easley's Future, He Says

Posted January 10, 2006

— Gov. Mike Easley said Tuesday that he has no interest in moving to the United States Senate, but refuses to rule out ever seeking a higher office.

In an editorial sent to some of the nation's largest newspapers last week, Easley cites issues with a national, rather than state, scope, including cuts in health care, child care and education, while the rich get a tax break.

His position on the issues, Easley told WRAL, are nothing new, saying that the themes were mentioned in his second inaugural address. It is the first time, however, that he has tried to get his message heard nationally.

Some political observers believe the governor was trying to get national publicity with the article, entitled "Washington Should Be Ashamed," but Easley said they are wrong.

"This is not about politics," Easley told WRAL. "It's about what's right and what's wrong and what this latest budget did is wrong."

He reacts quickly when reminded that the themes sound purely political.

"People can make of it what they want, but they have to deal with the facts," Easley said.

What he wrote caught the attention of some political observers who think Easley wants to challenge current Republican U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, but Easley said he is not interested in being in a legislature at any level.

"I'm not made for that," he said.

Easley's name has also been mention from time to time on lists of potential presidential candidates.

His message for those who speculate: "They're often wrong. None of us are in a position to guess what's going to happen down the road."

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