UPDATE: Watt approved by Senate committee

Jul. 18, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

UPDATED 4:55 P.M.

 

Rep. Mel Watt, D-12th, moved closer Thursday morning to a federal post in the administration of President Barack Obama and residents of Watt’s district in High Point and the Triad moved closer to having a new congressman.
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs approved Watt’s recommendation to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency by a 12-10 party-line vote. Watt’s nomination now heads to the full Senate. If the Democratic-controlled Senate signs off on Watt’s appointment, he becomes the head of the agency whose responsibilities including overseeing the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
If Watt takes the federal agency post, he would vacate the congressional seat he’s held for 21 years. A special election would take place later this year to fill the seat through the November 2014 general election in the heavily Democratic-leaning district. Since 1992, Watt has won general elections by wide margins over an array of Republican challengers.
The congressional district includes parts of High Point. The 12th District reaches from the Charlotte metropolitan area through the central Piedmont to the Triad.
At least a half a dozen Democrats have expressed interest in succeeding Watt. They include state Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, who’s from High Point.
Earlier this week, Brandon’s congressional campaign reported it raised $53,071 from 232 donors between May 13 and June 30. The Marcus Brandon for Congress Committee was formed in mid-May.
“I am encouraged by grass roots support that I’ve been getting while out on the campaign trail,” said Brandon, who’s serving his second term in the N.C. House of Representatives.
However, the first poll released earlier this month on a possible special election shows a Charlotte Democrat in the lead.
Public Policy Polling’s initial 12th District survey finds state Sen. Malcolm Graham, D-Mecklenburg, leading with 31 percent. The next-closest candidate is state Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford, at 22 percent, with Brandon polling at 5 percent, according to the Public Policy Polling survey.
Watt was nominated to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency by the president in early May. Watt has served on the House Financial Services Committee since his first term in Congress, according to the congressman’s website. Watt’s district includes the headquarters for one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, Bank of America based in Charlotte.
The House Financial Services Committee oversees all aspects of the financial services industry, including banking, insurance and securities trading. Watt has served on the committee with jurisdiction over the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528

 

Rep. Mel Watt, D-12th, moved closer Thursday morning to a federal post in the administration of President Barack Obama and residents of Watt's district in High Point and the Triad moved closer to having a new congressman.

The Senate Banking Committee approved Watt's recommendation to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency by a 12-10 vote. Watt's nomination now heads to the full Senate. If the Democratic-controlled Senate OKs Watt's appointment, he becomes the head of the agency whose responsibilities including overseeing the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

If Watt takes the federal agency post, he would vacate the congressional seat he's held since the 1992 election. A special election would be held later this year to fill the seat through the November 2014 general election.

Watt was nominated in early May by Obama. His congressional district includes parts of High Point. The 12th District reaches from the Charlotte metropolitan area through the central Piedmont to the Triad.
At least a half a dozen Democrats have expressed interest in succeeding Watt in the heavily Democratic-leaning district. They include state Reps. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, and Alma Adams, D-Guilford. Brandon is from High Point, while Adams is from Greensboro.

Watt has served on the House Financial Services Committee since his first term in Congress, according to the congressman’s website. Watt’s district includes the headquarters for one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, Bank of America based in Charlotte.
The House Financial Services Committee oversees all aspects of the financial services industry, including banking, insurance and securities trading. Watt has served on the committee with jurisdiction over the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Securities and Exchange Commission,