WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We've learned new information tonight that you'll see ONLY ON 3 regarding a bill Sen. R.C. Soles introduced last week. Today District Attorney and Soles friend Rex Gore admitted to us he helped write the bill, which, if passed, would have directly impacted how much retirement money gore got from the state. Right now to get full retirement you have to be 65 years old and have served for 24 years. The Soles/Gore bill is trying to change that to 62 years old and 20 years of service.
Gore turned 62 last month and has 22 years in. He now says he contacted soles today, and asked that the bill be amended so that it wouldn't go into effect until 2012, which would take him out of play.
You may have heard about the other bill Soles introduced last week that would split the 13th judicial district in two and allow the governor to appoint a new district attorney. That bill has caused quite a bit of concern for local Republicans and Democrats. Now, an e-mail has surfaced from Gore's personal e-mail account, that's sure to add to controversy. Gore sent the e-mail to the chair of the Brunswick County Democratic Party, who forwarded to several prominent Democrats in the district. In it Gore responds to concerns about splitting up the district.
Gore replies: "With all due respect, you need to leave the language alone... it means nothing... not binding on the governor... the less you talk about it the better... you do not need to confront Soles on this bill... it is being introduced to protect Columbus and Bladen... it is not something any committee needs to discuss... the more attention you draw to it, the harder it will be to accomplish... at least this way, you have a chance of getting a Dem appointed if we can defeat (Jon) David... and no, I am not interested in being appointed."
The bill in question was introduced by Soles Thursday,just two weeks after the primary election, in which his longtime political ally Gore lost the Democratic race to keep his seat as District Attorney. The bill proposes splitting the 13th judicial district in two; making Brunswick County its own district, and Columbus and Bladen Counties a separate district.
Jon David, a Republican from Brunswick County, and Butch Pope, a Democrat from Columbus County, are vying to be the DA of the 13th district. If the bill passes, it would let whoever wins the election be the DA of the newly drawn district where he lives. The governor would appoint a district attorney for the other new district. The bill encourages the governor to appoint someone from the opposite political party of the elected DA. That's causing concern for Brunswick County Democrats, who fear the governor would appoint a Republican to their district if Pope wins the DA race.
We asked Gore for comment on the e-mail. He wouldn't elaborate much, basically saying the e-mail spoke for itself.
The chair of the Brunswick County Democratic Party wasn't satisfied with Gore's explanation of the bill. She's called a meeting Thursday night to discuss the ramifications of splitting the judicial district and has asked Soles to come in person to explain himself.
Soles was unavailable for comment.