Around the South for Mar. 22: OK, NC & GA

Oklahoma: Coburn for President? Talk among some GOPers that if Donald Trump gets the Republican nomination they will back a third-party bid fell on hearing ears. Former US Sen. Tom Coburn (R), a maverick as well as an outspoken conservative (who is under treatment for cancer), said he would be open to running as an alternative to Trump, reports the New York Times ……. North Carolina: GOP Central Committee censures chairman. Further dividing an already fractured party, on Sunday night, the governing committee of the state party censured state chairman Hasan Harnett for alleged misconduct. The committee listed eight charges against Harnett, the party’s first African-American chairman, reports the News & Observer. For starters, Harnett, who is popular with party activists and the Tea Party, last June beat a candidate backed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R), tried to lower the price for attending the state convention to attract more folks, without regard to the implications for the party treasury ……. Georgia: Religious liberty legislation draws flak. As Gov. Nathan Deal (R) ponders whether to sign a bill allowing those who support traditional marriage to deny services – such as wedding cakes or flowers – to same-sex weddings without legal risk, businesses opposed to the measure are urging Deal to veto it, reports the Washington Post. There is even a possibility that such a law could cost Atlanta the Super Bowl. The National Football League issued a statement that its “policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness, and prohibit discrimination based on,” among other categories, “sexual orientation” …….