Around the South for Feb. 23: NC, MS & VA

North Carolina: McCrory predicts Atlantic Coast oil drilling soon. In as early as a year and a half, drilling for oil and gas could begin off the coast of Eastern States, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said last week, reported Raleigh’s News & Observer. McCrory chairs the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, which includes the governors of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Oh, and Maine. The group met in Washington during a meeting of the National Governors Association ……. Mississippi: Democrat files for governor. Vicki Slater, an attorney and a businesswoman, last week became the first – and so far only – Democrat to file to run against Republican Gov. Phil Bryant in this year’s election. Slater, 58, criticized Bryant for failing to expand Medicaid with federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act. She also stressed the need for adequate funding for education. After outlining each of her positions, she said, “Phil Bryant has failed us.” ……. Virginia: Clinton, Bush even-steven. In a 2016 head-to-head poll, Hillary Clinton gets 42% and Jeb Bush also gets 42%, in the latest Quinnipiac Poll of Virginia voters. Clinton scored higher among women, Bush among men. The former secretary of state leads other GOPers, including Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee, by two or three points.  She has plusses and minuses, with a favorability rating of 48%, but a 44% unfavorable rating …….