RALEIGH — Jones & Blount has learned that, according to a source, Gov. Pat McCrory personally talked transportation Secretary Tony Tata out of running for Congress. The source, who has knowledge of the discussions, said that the governor told Tata that he needed him at NCDOT and that he did not want Tata to take on an incumbent Republican.
Rumors had been swirling about Tata on Jones and Blount streets, and in a June 1 News and Observer article, Republican strategist Carter Wrenn was quoted saying Tata was “seriously considering” running.
This morning, capital news media reported that Tata had decided not to run, quoting an internal NCDOT memo from the secretary.
“I remain committed to serving the citizens of North Carolina as Transportation Secretary,” Tata wrote. The memo did not confirm that Tata had considered a congressional race, but said he had been “asked to serve the state or other organizations in different capacities, including elective office” while working as secretary.
The governor’s office did not respond to a request for a confirmation of the story.