by Bob Geary
Don Mial, a candidate for Wake County commissioner in 2006, is campaigning to be Linda Coleman's replacement in the General Assembly, according to several well-informed Democratic sources. Coleman's 39th House district is in eastern Wake County (including Zebulon, Wendell, Knightdale, and portions of Garner and Raleigh). She's giving up her seat to work in the Perdue Administration as state personnel director. Democratic party officials in her district will meet to nominate a successor; incoming Gov. Bev Perdue makes the appointment.
Mial is currently vice chair of the Wake County Democratic Party. He's a unit manager at a juvenile corrections facility in Butner and an N.C. National Guardsman who served in Iraq in 2005. In '06, he was defeated in his first bid for public office by popular Republican Joe Bryan, but gave a good account of himself. The Indy, while endorsing Bryan, said: "His Democratic opponent, Don Mial (rhymes with file), is ... a solid citizen. He's a state employee who manages a youth correction facility at Butner and is a National Guard vet with Vietnam and Iraq theater experience. He's running for office for the first time, however. We trust we'll see him again."
Some others mentioned as possible replacements for Coleman:
* Former Knightdale Mayor Jeanne Bonds.
* Mental health activist Ann Akland, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat in the '08 Democratic primaries.
* Bridgette Burge, an organizer and advocate for many good social justice causes.
Akland and Burge told us they're not candidates. We haven't reached Bonds yet or Mial.