Rusty Jacobs

Political Reporter

Rusty Jacobs is a politics reporter for WUNC. Rusty previously worked at WUNC as a reporter and substitute host from 2001 until 2007 and now returns after a nine-year absence during which he went to law school at Carolina and then worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Wake County.

As a reporter, he has covered a wide array of topics including military affairs, sports, government and damaging storms.

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Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday finished its court-ordered task of redrawing dozens of state house and senate districts in a very undramatic fashion. The House voted for the Senate remap and the Senate approved the House proposal.

The task comes two weeks after a dramatic, first-of-its-kind ruling on September 3 when a Wake County Superior Court judicial panel declared Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly had gerrymandered legislative districts for excessively partisan gains and, therefore, violated the state constitution.

Voting sign
Wikipedia Commons

State elections officials have added early voting hours in North Carolina's 9th and 3rd Congressional Districts, where polling sites in particularly storm-prone areas had been closed because of Hurricane Dorian.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

The two Dans running for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District faced off last night in their only face-to-face debate, aired on WBTV in Charlotte. It was a heated battle between a moderate Democrat and a staunch Republican supporter of the president.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

Dan McCready has been campaigning for more than two years, a period the Democratic candidate said he measures in kids.

Rising water following Hurricane Florence is leading to road closures like this on on Arrington Bridge Road in Goldsboro, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

State emergency management officials are devising a new system for evacuating residents in the event of major storms.

People gather at makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019.
Andres Leighton / AP

As communities in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mourn the slaying of at least 31 people over the weekend, the Republican and Democratic candidates in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District race are responding very differently.

A picture of people in voting booths
Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's elections board is deadlocked over whether to require that voting machines produce a paper printout that lets voters read and confirm their ballot.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

The sudden resignation of State Board of Elections Chairman Bob Cordle presents an opportunity for people who oppose the certification of new voting systems in future North Carolina elections.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The political operative whose alleged ballot tampering in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District resulted in a new election now faces more criminal charges.

One of the three voting systems being considered for certification by the State Board of Elections.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The State Board of Elections is scheduled to vote Monday night on the certification of new voting systems for use in North Carolina. The decision comes just as a U.S. Senate report raised concerns about voting machine security nationwide.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

A bill in the state House would expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income people, though it would include work requirements and premiums, provisions opposed by Governor Roy Cooper and fellow Democrats.

Still, a group of Democratic representatives held a news conference Tuesday to urge House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) to allow a debate and vote on the measure to proceed.

Rep. Billy Richardson (D-Cumberland)
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Billy Richardson has a distinct rasp to his voice. That voice, plus his reddened eyes and ruddy complexion, give the Cumberland County Democrat an air of weariness.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The state house unanimously passed a spending bill Wednesday, but it wasn't the two-year budget plan vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper late last month.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republicans and Democrats at the North Carolina General Assembly are tangled in a tense battle of wills over the state budget. And the outcome may hinge on whether the Legislature's GOP leadership can lure some Democrats to their side on a veto override.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

Leaders of the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly put off likely defeat for at least one more day. Rather than hold an almost certainly doomed override vote on Gov. Roy Cooper's budget veto Monday evening, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) moved the item to Tuesday's calendar.

The North Carolina legislative office building
Wikipedia

A bill that would forbid local governments from providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants passed the state House today on a mostly party-line vote.

North Carolina State Legislature
Dave Crosby / Flickr

Updated 9:45 | June 26, 2019

The joint budget plan worked out by Republican legislative leaders is one step closer to going to the governor's desk--and a likely veto.

Both chambers of the GOP-controlled legislature passed the $24 billion spending plan in preliminary votes Wednensday. Final votes are scheduled for Thursday.

Drone in flight
Don McCullough / Flickr Creative Commons

An app being developed by engineers at Duke University could help prison officials prevent drones from delivering contraband to inmates.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Officials with UNC Health Care on Monday announced several initiatives they say will restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program, including pausing the most complex cases until an advisory board of external medical experts reviews the program and makes recommendations.

Map of the east coast showing the outer continental shelf where drilling would occur.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

The state Division of Coastal Management formally objected this week to a company's application for a federal permit to begin oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast from Maryland to Florida.

WesternGeco needs the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval to conduct seismic testing that would involve towing airguns offshore and firing them approximately every 10 seconds for more than 200 days over the period of a year.

Floodwaters submerged N.C. Highway 41 east of Wallace so much that people could jet ski down the road.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

State Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon called it a 1,000-year storm event. He was talking about the 7-and-1/2 inches of rain that flooded US 401, a major commuter artery linking northern Wake and Franklin counties.

Speaker of the House Tim Moore (left) converses with Representative Nelson Dollar (right) during a break on debate of the state budget at the State Capitol on June 21, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership has been holding up a vote on Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the "Born Alive" bill. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said he will continue to do so until he thinks his party has rallied enough veto-override votes.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Thursday, extending paid parental leave to the nearly 56,000 employees at cabinet agencies, departments and boards or commissions under his authority.

Raja Sambasivan / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracerbullet999/5825323478/

Twenty-one states extend in-state tuition to either undocumented immigrants or beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Legislation proposed by state Democrats would make North Carolina the 22nd state to offer that tuition rate, but Republican support is an unlikely prospect.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Hurricane Matthew caused nearly $5 billion in damages across half the state's 100 counties and forced 4,000 evacuees into shelters. But missteps by an executive agency have delayed distribution of all but 3% of more than $236 million in federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery, or CDBG-DR, funds.

 In this May 7, 2019, photo, Dan Bishop answers a question during a debate among Republican candidates for the 9th Congressional District, in Monroe, N.C.
Chuck Burton / AP

State Sen. Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) beat out nine other candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

The Bladen County Board of Elections
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Bladen County was ground zero for the vote tampering scandal that led to a new election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

A 3-2 majority of the state elections board ruled in favor of Republican Jody Greene on Monday, ordering the Columbus County Board of Elections to certify Greene's 37-vote victory in the 2018 county sheriff's race over Democratic incumbent Lewis Hatcher.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Republican voters in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District face a tall task this spring. They must select a nominee from a crowded primary field with barely any time to get to know each candidate.

Electric vehicle fuel costs are about one third the amount a conventional car spends on fuel in North Carolina.
Wikimedia Commons

State Sen. Jim Davis said more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids means less money for North Carolina roads.

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