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Mayor Casts Vote For Wife Over Re-Election

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WILSON, N.C. — All may be fair in love and politics, but that doesn't mean the two can co-exist.

Wilson Mayor Bruce Rose plans to bow out of his re-election campaign next year unless the city attorney finds a loophole in a town ordinance forbidding anyone married to a municipal employee from running for the City Council.

Rose married Wilson City Clerk Becky Rose last October after working with her in CIty Hall for about a decade.

"Beck has always been a wonderful lady -- sweet, kind, humble," he said.

Because the clerk attests to the mayor's signature on official documents, the couple checked with state officials before their wedding to make sure their relationship would be allowed.

Although the nuptials passed muster with the state, the Wilson ordinance that Bruce Rose signed into law seven years ago now poses a problem for the couple.

Becky Rose recently found a copy of the ordinance outlawing spouses of city employees from seeking political office and brought it to her husband's attention.

"The minute I read it, I remembered it," he said. "Never ever did I think about that ordinance when we got married. But it would not have made any difference in us getting married, I'll tell you that right now."

Rose said he still supports the ordinance, but City Council members and the city attorney are reviewing it to let him know whether it applies to his marriage and his re-election campaign.

If it is an issue, he said he would gladly drop out of the race. While he loves his job and hopes to continue as Wilson mayor, he said he loves his wife more.

"If we don't work this out, I'm going to drop out of the next election. I might drop out before that," he said. "I don't want to break any law, and neither do I want to hurt Becky in any way, shape or form. I wouldn't do that even if she wasn't my wife because she is a great employee."