Carolinians may get role in administration

He didn’t carry either state, but President-elect Bill Clinton may look to the Carolinas as he begins assembling an administration.

On Wednesday, former S.C. Gove. Dick Riley and N.C. Attorney General Lacy Thornburg were among the names bandied about as Clinton campaign staffers and Democratic politicians discussed potential appointees.

The group also agreed on something else: With North Carolina about to have two conservative Republican senators – Sen. Jesse Helms and Sen.-elect Lauch Faircloth – expect Clinton to go to others on matters affecting the Tar Heel state.

Gov.-elect Jim Hunt, for one. At a Wednesday news conference in Raleigh, Hunt said he may suggest to Clinton names for federal judgeships and other posts.

“We’ve got a lot of good people in North Carolina and I want to see them involved in ways that can help the country and help the state,” said Hunt, who has close ties to both Clinton and Vice President-elect Al Gore.

By custom, the senior senator of the president’s party has de facto veto power over judicial appointment.s

South Carolina, meanwhile, is home to a member of Clinton’s inner circle: Former Gov. Riley. He’s been mentioned for various high-profile jobs, including White House chief of staff and secretary of education.

On Wednesday, Riley said he wasn’t interested in those posts, though “I want to be helpful to Bill Clinton and to the country….I think I can be more helpful as a volunteer who lives in South Carolina and who receives certain assignments on special areas of interest.”

Others who may play a role:

Billy Webster IV: A lawyer from Greenville, S.C., he was Clinton’s S.C. campaign treasurer.