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News, Rumor and Innuendo 

Lame Duck Mayor?

The word on the street is that Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory's third term will be his last. That's coming not from McCrory, but from those who, at least for now, aim to replace him with one of their own.

Tapped to replace him is First Union executive Mac Everett. Since the merger of First Union and Wachovia, Everett, who once oversaw the bank's business in North and South Carolina and Georgia, remained with the company as director of Corporate and Community Affairs after the blending of the two companies produced an executive leadership team more heavily dominated by Wachovia people.

Everett's name came up two years ago as a possible challenger for McCrory, then faded. But concerns about McCrory's leadership over the last year or so have supporters and uptown powers talking about encouraging the mayor to move on and Everett, or someone of a similar ilk, to move in.

But how could anyone force McCrory, who has a political war chest totaling six figures, to forego a run when he has the money to beat a heavily funded opponent? There are plenty of ways. McCrory receives a paycheck from Duke Energy, but has never been reached there by this reporter. What some see as Duke's corporate charity has kept the mayor financially afloat. Take that paycheck away and McCrory would likely be hard-pressed to serve and survive on the piddly salary the city pays him. Then there's the fact that McCrory would need heavy corporate support to pull off a run for US Congress. McCrory has long coveted Republican Sue Myrick's seat, but so far, Myrick hasn't shown any signs of sticking to her term limit promises, leaving McCrory to tread water in the mayor's office. If the corporate community really dug in its heels against another run by the boy mayor, McCrory would have to risk the loss of their political support for a future congressional or gubernatorial run if he chose to run anyway. Basically, either way you look at it, the mayor loses.

As for McCrory, he says, "I have no idea what I'm going to do." *

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