Former Congressman Bob Etheridge says he's still weighing a gubernatorial bid this year, but hasn't yet made a decision.
"Very candidly, like a lot of folks, I'm just sort of waiting on Erskine," he said.
Etheridge is a longtime friend of Erskine Bowles. The former UNC president hasn't yet announced whether he'll enter the Democratic primary. "Hopefully, we'll talk before the day's over," Etheridge said.
"This may be the most important election in our lifetime for this state," he continued. "There's so much at stake."
If he runs, Etheridge said, his main focus will be on education — no surprise for a former state schools chief.
But, he added, "I think Erskine would bring a lot to this race, including a whole bunch of money and the ability to attract a lot of dollars. That's important. Look at what happened in Florida," he said, referring to the GOP presidential contest. "You can't get outspent five to one."
Etheridge lost his congressional seat to Republican Renee Ellmers in 2010. Since then, he's served in the Perdue administration overseeing economic and disaster recovery efforts.