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Phipps Remains Adamant, Says She Won't Leave Office

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RALEIGH, N.C. — If state Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps is worried about a federal investigation swirling around her, she hid it well Tuesday.

Even though two of her former aides pleaded guilty to election campaign violations and Gov. Mike Easley called for her resignation, Phipps remained adamant that she is going to stay in office.

"I am absolutely firm that I am not going to resign," Phipps told WRAL. "Gov. Easley is certainly entitled to his opinion, and he has one vote just like everybody else."

Phipps said her recent visits with farmers really boosted her spirits.

"You know when the lady stops me in the Burger King, or the man out here with the delivery truck stops me, and the clerk at the Wal-Mart, they all say: 'Hang in there,'" she said. "That's who I'm going to listen to."

Former Gov. Bob Scott, Phipps' father, critized Easley's call for Phipps' resignation. Tuesday, he told a radio talk show that when his daughter awarded the state fair contract to a different company, someone decided to make trouble for her.

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