While most of the country is focused on President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet selections, North Carolinians are closely watching how the administration of their new Democratic governor shapes up.
One of Roy Cooper’s latest and most controversial appointments is Ken Eudy, whom he named as a senior advisor last week. Eudy, a leader of the state’s Democratic Party in the 1980s, recently gained attention for writing a piece calling San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick the “preseason MVP.”
In his piece, Eudy praised Kaepernick for sitting during the National Anthem because “I don’t stand at sporting events, either.” He later clarified, adding that he does stand for the anthem. “I do stand for the Star-Spangled Banner,” he said, “but I stay in my seat when thousands of fans stand and cheer men and women in the armed services.”
Eudy, who is also heading up Cooper’s transition team, finds it odd that “of all the categories of Americans that we honor, we honor warriors.” He believes we should focus more on school teachers, which he calls “the profession that will determine whether the United States remains free.”
State Republicans were not happy about Eudy’s remarks, with State Rep. Holly Grange saying “it is very concerning” that Eudy has “publicly expressed negative opinions and degrading comments toward our state’s military servicemen and women.”
State Rep. John Szoka, a graduate of West Point along with Grange, also issued a statement condemning the selection of Eudy. “As a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army and elected official representing Fort Bragg, the most populous military base in the world, I am deeply offended and disheartened over Mr. Eudy’s comments toward our state’s bravest men and women,” he said.
The comments from Szoka and Grange were supported by 10 other Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives.