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.

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