Former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles won't run for governor of his home state, a senior Democratic official confirmed Thursday, leaving his party without one of their better-known contenders.
Bowles had seriously considered running to replace Gov. Bev Perdue, who said last week that she would not seek a second term. The state Democratic Party had gone so far as to buy domain names in preparation for a possible bid.
The Democratic primary is still likely to be a crowded affair. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison are already in the race, while ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge and Reps. Brad Miller and Mike McIntyre are still considering their own bids.
The eventual winner will start far behind former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the likely Republican nominee. McCrory formally kicked off his long-expected bid on Tuesday with $2 million in the bank and polls that show him popular statewide.