Jim Puckett, formerly the Mecklenburg County commissioners vice chairman, is considering a campaign for N.C. lieutenant governor, according to a source close to the situation.

His is one of the first names floated among Republicans in what could be a crowded field. Deborah Cochran, the Republican former mayor of Mount Airy, is also planning to run.

Already, several high-profile Democrats have declared their intention to run for lieutenant governor, including former Sens. Cal Cunningham and Malcolm Graham, and current Sen. Terry Van Duyn.

Puckett’s campaign for lieutenant governor would likely focus on education and manufacturing.

Puckett is a former school board member for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and of Lake Norman Charter School.

He’s reportedly considering a 100-county listening tour to hear from teachers about their thoughts on reforming teacher pay and making the classroom environment more conducive to teaching, the source tells Longleaf Politics.

Image by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce via Facebook.

The president of a company that refinishes and services manufacturing equipment, Puckett is also interested in reshaping how North Carolina recruits manufacturers to rural areas of the state, the source says.

The lieutenant governor seat will be open in 2020 as two-term Lt. Gov. Dan Forest seeks the governor’s mansion.

Puckett’s 10-year tenure on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners came to an end last year amid a wave that ousted the board’s three Republican members.

On the board, Puckett made a name for being a strong advocate for stewardship of taxpayer dollars, a supporter of charter schools, and for pushing to investigate missteps in the county health department. He opposed toll lanes on I-77 and the bid for a Major League Soccer team with taxpayer subsidies.

He represented the northern part of Mecklenburg County near Lake Norman.

Cover image by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce via Facebook.

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