Coble Undecided on Seeking Re-Election Next Year
News reporters wondering about Congressman Howard Coble’s future plans came away from a news conference Wednesday with no easy answers.
The 80-year-old Republican said he has not made up his mind whether to seek a 15th term in Congress. Coble said he wants to study the new configuration of the 6th District before making a decision.
“It’s the old Howard back,” said one Coble supporter after the news conference, his first public appearance since his hospitalization two weeks earlier.
Coble met with print and broadcast reporters at his Greensboro district office Wednesday.
Kathy McClellan, manager of the 6th District office, said Coble is resting at his home in Greensboro and expects to be back in Washington, D.C., when the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes on Jan. 17.
“Mr. Coble says he’s feeling good,” McClellan said.
The Wednesday news conference was called to give the veteran congressman an opportunity to provide a personal update on the status of his health, McClellan said.
“There were a lot of questions, and he wanted to clear up those questions,” she said.
McClellan said Coble had suffered from a severe head cold that lingered for about a month, then the ailment developed into an upper respiratory illness.
By the time he sought medical assistance in Washington, his sodium level had dropped dangerously low, and he was admitted to George Washington University Hospital on Dec. 13.
He was transported on Dec. 21 to The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, where he underwent physical therapy. Coble was discharged and returned home Tuesday.
Despite speculation that Coble might decide to retire at the end of his 14th term, the congressman left that question very much open at the Wednesday gathering.
Redistricting maps adopted by the N.C. General Assembly have been approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, but several groups have taken the issue to court. The lawsuit must be resolved before the new districts can take effect with the 2012 general election.
Although most of the counties added into the new 6th District are regarded as Republican-leaning, the new district is not as compact as the present one and is spread out over a more diverse area.
The new 6th District includes all of Surry, Stokes, Rockingham, Caswell and Person counties, most of Guilford and Alamance counties, and portions of Orange, Durham and Granville counties. The present 6th District encompasses all of Randolph and Moore counties, most of Guilford County, and portions of Rowan, Davidson and Alamance counties.
If the district maps adopted by the GOP-controlled legislature make it through the latest judicial hurdle, Moore County will become part of District 2, now represented by Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, who is serving her first term.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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