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Political Notebook: Sen. Carl Ford presides on Senate floor

N.C. Sen Carl Ford, R-33, has had the opportunity to be the presiding officer of the Senate multiple times this session.

The presiding officer is designated by the president pro tem and is generally a new member of the majority party.

Ford most recently presided last Thursday.

Notably, Ford signed Senate Bill 392 on July 18, which would allow the State Board of Education to lift the enrollment cap on virtual charter schools. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper on July 29.

Reps. Harry Warren, R-76; Julia Howard, R-77; and Larry Pittman, R-83, all voted in favor of the bill, as did Ford.

In Cooper’s veto message, he said: “Current law already allows the State Board of Education to lift the enrollment cap on virtual charter schools. Both schools have been low-performing, raising concern about the effectiveness of this pilot. Decisions on adding more students should remain with the board so it can measure progress and make decisions that will provide the best education for students.”

Ford said someone asked him why he chose to gavel in three times, and he joked that it was in honor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., the race car driver who drove the No. 3 car.

Ford was scheduled to preside over the Senate again on Monday.

Dan Forest endorsed by Sheriff Auten

Fifty sheriffs, including Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten, have endorsed Republican Dan Forest for governor in 2020.

Neighboring county’s sheriffs, including Jeff Crisco of Stanly, Van Shaw of Cabarrus and J.D. Hartman of Davie, also endorsed Forest.

Forest is currently the lieutenant governor and is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2020.

Sheriff Tracy Carter of Lee County explained the sheriffs’ endorsement.

“Dan Forest is a common-sense kind of guy,” Carter said. “With his pro-business policies and track record of supporting law enforcement, we need him to be governor. North Carolina is a jewel, but we have so much potential to do even better. I know Dan’s going to be a great leader for our state as governor.”

Reps. Harry Warren, R-76; Julia Howard, R-77; and Larry Pittman, R-83, along with Sen. Carl Ford, R-33, have also endorsed Forest’s run for governor.

Forest will kick off his campaign on Aug. 17 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.

Gov. Roy Cooper has not formally announced his intention to run for re-election. But Cooper reported $5.6 million in cash on hand for his campaign compared to Forest’s $1.01 million in cash on hand at the end of the campaign finance period on June 30.

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