Top UNC official to run for Howard Coble's seat

Laura Fjeld, a former high-ranking university official, has filed for the congressional seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Howard Coble of Greensboro.

Fjeld spent the past five years as vice president and general counsel for the 17-campus University of North Carolina system. Before that she worked for two major law firms.

Throughout my thirty-two year career," Fjeld said in a statement, "I worked with large and small businesses that were creating jobs and growing out state's economy. Most recently, I worked with Republicans and Democrats to protect the quality of our state's public universities for this and future generations.''

"I have great optimism about our future in North Carolina, '' she said, " but partisan politics are toxic. I haven't created the problems in Washington D.C. -- but I will be part of the solution.''

Coble, 82, has had health issues recently, and has not said whether he will seek another term. A number of Republicans, including District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. -- the son of the Senate leader -- have expressed an interest in running. Although Coble has held the seat since 1984, the Republicans have made the district less GOP leaning, in an effort to create other Republican leaning districts.

Fjeld lives in northern Orange County with her husband Jon Fjeld, who serves as director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. They have five children.