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North Carolina: No Time Frame for Cooper Senate Decision

A week after a new poll showed him well-positioned in a hypothetical matchup against Sen. Richard Burr (R), a spokesman for state Attorney General Roy Cooper said the Democrat still has no time frame for making a decision on whether to run in 2010.

“He’s giving it very thorough and careful consideration,— said Morgan Jackson, a consultant for Cooper. “He wants to make [a decision] soon. … He knows that this race is going to be a tough race and that if he’s going to get in … you want to allow yourself enough time. But he also understands that it’s pretty early in this process.—

Jackson’s statements come after an automated survey by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling showed Cooper ahead of Burr 41 percent to 37 percent in a survey of 979 North Carolina voters that was in the field earlier this month.

The attorney general’s high name identification throughout the state stems from his statewide campaigns and multiple terms in the North Carolina Legislature. Cooper was viewed as a strong recruit in 2008 before he opted out of the Senate race against then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R). His ties to the more Democratic eastern half of the state and background working on tobacco farms as a teenager have served him well as he has risen through the state ranks.

As Cooper contemplates his chances in 2010, he’s also preparing to go to trial to defend himself against a defamation lawsuit filed by his 2000 opponent, attorney Dan Boyce (R). That suit, in which Boyce claims he was slandered by Cooper in a fraudulent political advertisement, will be heard in Wake County Superior Court on May 18.

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