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THE RANT: Perdue's spokespeople still don't agree on where Governor was Saturday during storm

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RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- A question is swirling in Raleigh about what Gov. Bev Perdue was doing Saturday while storms and tornadoes were ripping apart her state.

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, hours after tornadoes had ripped through Raleigh, Sanford and Bladen County, the Raleigh News & Observer's Political Blog "Under the Dome" reports that state Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell hadn't even spoken directly with the governor.

Chrissy Pearson, the governor's communications director, said Perdue was out of the state "attending a family obligation."

Later, spokesman Mark Johnson told the N&O that Perdue was in Lexington, KY, visiting with fellow Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, as well as four of her former roommates from the University of Kentucky. Johnson also told the N&O that the governor had attend the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a thoroughbred horse race held Saturday.

But Pearson now says that's not true. We followed up today with her, wanting to know why the governor's communications staff seemed so unorganized Saturday when most of the state knew these deadly storms were headed our way at least two days in advance.

Pearson sent us the following email Monday morning:

"We all knew exactly where she was. We respect her privacy as a citizen who values her family and friends, and who very occasionally leaves the state to visit. She spent many years living in Kentucky and has ties there. She wasn't actually at the race; state business brought her home early and she of course wanted to be here to help the state recover from the storms. Don't believe everything you read in the N&O."

I'm not sure we believe everything coming from the governor's office either.

"UNDER THE DOME" BLOG: http://projects.newsobserver.com/dome

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