Bill Graham among McCrory appointees to state economic board

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory’s appointments to a board designed to recommend economic development policy to North Carolina state officials include close political allies, former rivals and corporate leaders.

Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham, who lost to McCrory in a 2008 primary and went on to serve on McCrory’s political committee, was among the 22 people the governor appointed Monday to the N.C. Economic Development Board.

McCrory designated former Charlotte city council member John Lassiter as chairman. Lassiter helped lead McCrory’s gubernatorial transition team late last year. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is vice chairman.

Other board appointees include Fred Smith of Johnston County, who also ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2008.

The list also includes Raleigh developer John Kane, Lenovo executive Thomas Looney and CEOs Chuck Swoboda of Cree Inc. and Kelly King of BB&T.

Graham is a partner with the law firm of Wallace & Graham. A native of Harnett County, he graduated from Catawba College, and earned a law degree from Antioch University, finishing at Wake Forest University. He serves on the Catawba College Board of Trustees.

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.