Pope Foundation Chairman serves on McCrory transition team

Art Pope, President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, will serve as a co-chair on Governor-Elect Pat McCrory’s gubernatorial transition team. The Associated Press has the details:

The top transition leaders are senior chairman of transition operations John Lassiter, a Charlotte businessman, former city council member and close McCrory ally, and transition director Thomas Stith, who works at a private enterprise center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Stith is a former Durham city council member.

Other operations co-chairmen are former Rep. Ed McMahan, a Charlotte architect; Raleigh real estate executive Mike Smith and retail company executive Art Pope. McCrory defended the involvement of Pope, who’s been a lightning rod for Democrats and liberal groups because his family’s companies have given large amounts of money to conservative political groups and his family’s foundation often gives to conservative causes.

Pope, a former state House member from Raleigh, is “extremely knowledgeable about the operation of state government. And by the way, he has a great relationship with Gov. (Beverly) Perdue also,” McCrory said as Pope and more than a dozen other transition members stood behind him at the news conference.

For a complete list of transition team members, click here.