News of Sen. Martin Nesbitt’s death last week had people across the state of North Carolina talking about Nesbitt’s impressive accomplishments in his three decades as a state legislator. It also set off behind-the-scenes discussions about who would be appointed to replace Nesbitt in the state Senate.
One of the people in top contention is former state Sen. Charles Carter of Buncombe County. Carter won election to the N.C. Senate at age 31 back in 1998 after losing his first attempt in 1996. He won again in 2000. More recently, Carter served as Democratic Party chairman a few years ago.
Part of Nesbitt’s legacy was his support of public education, an issue that Carter also worked hard on while he was in office. Carter also has the experience of two terms in the Senate and theoretically could get up to speed quickly when the next session of the N.C. General Assembly cranks up in May. Carter is an experienced small business owner, having opened a chain of local coffee shops.
More background on Carter, from this Mountain Xpress 2010 profile:
Born and raised in Buncombe County, Carter and two siblings grew up on the campus of the prestigious Asheville School, where his father was athletic director for 40 years and his mother still serves as part-time librarian. Carter played baseball, football and track, going on to play basketball at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. After a year-and-a-half in Barcelona, learning the language and soaking up the culture, he came home to Asheville in 1993 to teach Spanish at North Buncombe High School.
The Citizen-Times is reporting today (March 13) that Carter has ruled himself out. Ashvegas does not source its assertion that “One of the people in top contention is former state Sen. Charles Carter of Buncombe County.” Was this post wishful thinking on the reporter’s part? A trial balloon by someone close to the reporter to see what kind of reaction Carter’s candidacy might get? A rumor passed on to the reporter and not verified?
I was a student of his back in High School for 4 semesters. Super nice guy. He didn’t exactly inspire me to take on the world in a Stand and Deliver kind of way, but at least he treated me with respect. A real even-tempered thoughtful character, playful too, as I remember him. To me, he really stood out from most of my other cynical, condescending teachers. But maybe it was his young age.
I concur. He would be a great choice!
Great choice! Perfect fit!
I am a personal friend of Charles, and I can assure you that he prefers that any discussion of who should fill this seat be postponed out of respect for the late Sen. Nesbitt, his family, and those in the district (and around the state) who are grieving.
Excellent choice. It makes sense too as his previous service in the NC Senate should give him a leg up on seniority.
Of course, whoever is chosen will have some mighty big shoes to fill.
I think Susan Fisher is just now starting to get some traction in seniority in the House. If I’m not mistaken she has also worked her way into a leadership role with the party so moving her to the Senate might complicate things that way as well as come election time. Keeping her in the House and appointing Carter to Sen. Nesbitt’s seat gives Buncombe a bit of seniority in both chambers.
I think Carter is a great choice for several reasons.
First, he’s got the experience, the time, and the support network.
Second, if Susan Fisher is chosen, then someone must run for her seat next election. That takes resources, both people and money, that the Dem Party can’t afford at the moment. (see the Voller fustercluck for more info) This way Carter is simply appointed and becomes a virtual shoe-in next election.