Taylor makes it official: He’s not running

After months of keeping his fellow Western North Carolina Republicans guessing, former U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) has decided not to run for the seat he lost to Democratic rookie Heath Shuler in the 2006 elections.

Taylor made the announcement to 1,000 guests at his annual holiday dinner at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, where presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was the featured speaker.

Taylor’s reluctance to announce his decision in the last months sparked frustration among his party and prompted the Henderson County Republican Men’s Club to ask Taylor to make up his mind. Efforts at pushing Taylor toward a decision failed, and an anticipated Labor Day announcement never materialized.

Three other Republicans have already announced their intentions to seek their party’s nomination to run against Shuler in 2008: Macon County attorney John Armor, Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower, and former Henderson County GOP Chair Spence Campbell.

Profiles of those candidates are available online in the Smoky Mountain News archives here.

— By Julia Merchant

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