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Despite Pressure To Resign, State Ag Commissioner Plans To Stay

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News and Observer

is one of four major North Carolina newspapers that have called for state Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps to resign. However, she said she will not resign and plans to run again in 2004.


News and Observer

pulled no punches in Wednesday's editorial saying, "North Carolina would be better off if the disappointing tenure of agriculture commissioner Meg Scott Phipps came to a close."

"It's the most damaging editorial I have seen the

News and Observer

write in my 22 years of politics," political consultant Brad Crone said.

Crone worked to get Phipps elected. Now, he also believes she should resign because the burden of criticism has become too heavy for her to govern effectively.

"The hounds are loose both in the press corps and in the political arena," Crone said.

"We expect these efforts to continue, but I'm committed to fighting this all the way to the end," Phipps said.

Refusing to answer questions, Phipps made a statement blaming the attacks on her decision to break from 50 years of tradition and choose a new state fair midway operator. That decision, along with thousands in illegal campaign contributions, remain the focus of state and federal investigations.

"If the state didn't come first, I would not have subjected myself nor my family to the criticisms and what I believe is the persecution we've been put through for the past nine months," she said.

"Well, I think there are some serious questions and I think we need to look at them seriously and get them resolved soon," said Rep. Dewey Hill, who chairs the state House Agriculture Committee.

"I intend to stay and I intend to run again in 2004," Phipps said.


Winston-Salem Journal

, the

Greensboro News and Record

and the

Wilmington Star

have also called for Phipps to resign. The

Wilmington Star

editorial states, "Phipps continues to shame her family, her party, herself and her state."


Cullen Browder, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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