Democratic state Rep. Bill Faison's name has been in the mix for some time. He said last year that he would not run, but earlier this month, he appeared to be rolling out a campaign platform and said he loaned himself $500,000. Other names being mentioned in media reports as possible Democratic candidates: Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. Former Rep. Bob Etheridge, who maintains a strong statewide network supporters is also a possibility. Attorney General Roy Cooper removed himself from consideration, issuing a statement Thursday morning saying that he plans to "file for re-election for that office [attorney general] to continue my work keeping people safe and moving North Carolina forward." Republicans seized on Perdue's decision. "It's now clear that the past four years of having a Democratic governor in North Carolina have been a failure. North Carolina's lost ground to its neighbors, and now has the worst unemployment rate in the region," said Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Cox.
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