Monday, August 4, 2008

Coble Praised for GOP Milestone

The Republican 6th District Executive Committee organized a variety of local political leaders and guests who honored Representative Howard Coble with their personal reflections of not only a loyal and accomplished statesman but a respected and beloved member of the community. Last month, Congressman Coble became the longest serving Republican in the history of the North Carolina congressional delegation.

Valerie White, 6th District GOP Chairman, said, "When I first became 6th District Chairman, in my time traveling all of the counties within the District, all of the leaders expressed their respect and admiration for the Congressman and his distinguished service. It was truly an honor for those of us on the 6th District Executive Committee to be able to have this event to express our appreciation for Congressman Coble's distinguished service and our admiration of the man himself. Congressman Coble is not one to draw attention to himself but with his loyalty and service to the people of his district, he has set a standard for leadership that has inspired us all."

Coble Praised for GOP milestone
By Mary Anderson-- Staff Writer
Asheboro Courier-Tribune
August 2, 2008

ASHEBORO — Randolph County loves U.S. Rep. Howard Coble.

Coble, who became the longest serving Republican in the history of the N.C. congressional delegation on July 15, was affectionately roasted, teased and lauded at a reception at The Exchange in Asheboro on Saturday. The reception was hosted by the Republican 6th District Executive Committee.

“You sure do know how to make an old man feel good,” Coble, 77, said after all the accolades and humorous references to his reputation for being frugal, casual and for being a ladies’ man.

“We have had fun, but this evening was not for me. This has been a special time for all of us and I hope you enjoyed it,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole said it was “a joy to be able to relax, enjoy the music and honor this wonderful man. I love this man.”

Dole recounted Coble’s many accomplishments, but, she said, no one gets re-elected for 12 terms unless he provides good service to his constituents, and Coble was second to none at that.

“He respects everyone he works with from fellow legislators to the elevator operators in the capital building,” Dole said….“If our staffs perform well for the constituents, we look good,” he said.

On Asheboro’s recent referendum on alcohol, Coble said if he had been an eligible voter, he would have voted for it. Coble also recognized the country and gospel band, D.C. and The Chosen Few, from Rowan County, which played his favorite music.

The 6th District includes all of Randolph and Moore counties and parts of Guilford, Davidson, Alamance and Rowan counties. During Coble’s tenure, configurations of the 6th District have also included Alamance, Chatham and Davie counties.

Coble was sworn in on Jan. 3, 1985, and passed former U.S. Rep. James T. Broyhill in length of U.S. House service on July 15 to set the state record for the Republican Party. Coble was elected to his 12th term in 2006 and said he has no plans to retire.

Bob Hunter, a candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, said Coble couldn’t retire because he has refused the congressional pension and has to keep working.

Hunter was Coble’s first campaign manager in 1984 when they had a $25,000 budget and Coble refused to go into debt for the campaign. He won by 86 votes and entered the House at age 53.

The secret of Coble’s longevity, Hunter said, was “his personal warmth and the best set of political instincts of any man alive.”

Coble’s first chief of staff, Marshall Hurley, said Coble connects with people on a personal level and talks with everyone he meets the same way he talks to the four presidents he has served under.

“Howard has never cast a vote out of fear. His votes are true and faithful to the philosophy of his district. He votes his conscience because he is a believer in life after Congress,” Hurley said.

Alan Pugh, chairman of Randolph County Republicans, kidded that in these days of prepackaged campaigns, “Howard is not just another pretty face.”

Pugh said Coble wasn’t just popular and respected, he was loved because he takes a genuine interest in people.

Linda Daves, chairman of the N.C. Republican Party, said Coble has set an example for what it takes to be a leader.

Seagrove potter Phil Morgan said he had been asked to say a few words for the congressman, but spoke best through his work and presented Coble with an 18-inch crystalline vase in his new glaze — red, white and blue.

Coble said he was always amazed at what Morgan could do with a lump of clay and a bucket of water and insisted he would pay for the vase. Morgan said no and they agreed to continue the negotiations after the party….

His bills reformed, extended and modernized the nation’s copyright and patent laws, yet he described himself as “an AM guy in an FM world.”

He still refuses to work on a computer and insists on writing his speeches in longhand. His only concession to modern technology is a cell phone, but he draws the line at Blackberrys.

So it is ironic that Coble became chairman and is still the ranking Republican on the judiciary subcommittee on the Internet and intellectual property.

At Saturday’s reception, Sixth District Chairman Valerie White and Vice Chairman Bruce Wiley introduced the speakers and were reminded several times by Coble to introduce the candidates present.

The candidates included N.C. Sen. Jerry Tillman, N.C. Rep. Jerry Dockham, N.C. Rep. Harold Brubaker and N.C. Sen. Harris Blake. Other guests were Randolph County Sheriff Maynard Reid and Davidson County Sheriff David Grice….

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