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.

Ways to Connect

File photo of a GoTriangle bus.
Courtesy of GoTriangle

The Triangle's transit organization is looking at higher capacity buses to ease daily commutes for the area's growing population.

GoTriangle is trying out a higher capacity bus on its busiest routes this month, such as the I-40 stretch from Chapel Hill to Raleigh.

A protest sign brought by Rebekah Cain Saenz sits on a platform in front of Chemours' President of Flouroproducts Paul Kirsch during a community meeting hosted by the chemical company Chemours at Faith Tabernacle Christian Center in St. Pauls, N.C. on Tue
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Chemours and state regulators may not see eye to eye on a long-term solution for residential wells tainted by GenX.

National Fire Prevention Association

Independence Day celebrations raise concerns about fireworks-related injuries. Nationwide, emergency rooms treated almost 13,000 such injuries last year, according to the non-profit National Fire Protection Association.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The Republican-controlled General Assembly wrapped up its short session Friday, passing an adjusted budget in time for the start of the fiscal year, above the objections of Democrats and Governor Roy Cooper’s veto.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

Republicans in the General Assembly rode their majority to pass three more proposed constitutional amendments Tuesday. 

Firefighters battle the downtown Raleigh fire
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Deaths due to residential fires are up in North Carolina, in part a consequence of a new reporting system.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The legislature’s Republican majority pushed forward several proposed constitutional amendments they hope will boost voter turnout in their favor this fall. Among the potential ballot measures, a photo ID requirement for North Carolina voters, the preservation of fishing and hunting as a way of life and a cap on personal income tax.

The sponsors of the proposed constitutional  amendment to cap North Carolina's personal income tax at 5.5 percent present the measure to the House Rules committee. Pictured are Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), at the podium, and Sen. Tommy Tucker (R-Union),
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Lawmakers put in a busy day in Raleigh Wednesday, completing the override of two gubernatorial vetoes and advancing proposed constitutional amendments.

A protest sign brought by Rebekah Cain Saenz sits on a platform in front of Chemours' President of Flouroproducts Paul Kirsch during a community meeting hosted by the chemical company Chemours at Faith Tabernacle Christian Center in St. Pauls, N.C. on Tue
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A year after news broke that Chemours had been releasing unregulated, industrial compounds into the Cape Fear River for decades, the company ended its silence with a town hall meeting Tuesday night.

File photo of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The governor addressed the Emerging Issues Forum on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at North Carolina State University.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Another of Governor Roy Cooper's vetoes is headed for an override by the Republican super-majority in North Carolina's General Assembly.

Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) addresses reporters Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in an effort to resurrect his school-safety legislation.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

State Representative Larry Pittman said he thinks the North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership is stifling his school-safety measure out of election-year fears.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

The Republican-controlled General Assembly gave final approval to its 2018-19 budget today, passing an adjusted $24 billion spending plan through a process that allowed for no input or amendments from Democrats.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly approved an adjusted budget with a final House vote today and will now send the $24 billion spending plan to Governor Roy Cooper.

Republicans touted the budget's increase in teacher pay, appropriation of $10 million to protect drinking water from emerging contaminants like GenX and a commitment of funds to improving prison safety.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The state Senate on Thursday debated a controversial bill to allow four local governments to create their own charter schools. The bill applies to the towns of Cornelius, Matthews, Huntersville and Mint Hill - and as a local bill is not subject to veto.

Scenes from the 2017 Rural Day.
Courtesy of York Wilson Photography

More than 400 local and state officials, business leaders and economic developers will gather in Raleigh Tuesday for the second annual Rural Day.

Organized by the non-profit North Carolina Rural Center, the event will focus on promoting economic development in the state's 80 counties with a population density of less than 250 people per square mile.

republican elephant, democratic donkey
DonkeyHotey / Flickr/Creative Commons

Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled General Assembly have extolled the streamlined budget process this session. Democrats say the public has been shut out of an important discussion.

The states in darker blue use the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Department of Labor

Democrats in the state legislature joined labor leaders to launch an effort to raise North Carolina's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, drawing a clear battle line for the November mid-term elections.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

On this week's episode of the WUNCPolitics podcast, host Rusty Jacobs has an extended conversation about the aftermath of the Teacher Rally, possible incentives for Apple, and the coming budget discussions in the General Assembly.

Supporters of increased school funding gathered in front of the legislative building on Wednesday.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Top Republicans on the House Select Committee on School Safety say they are poised to introduce bills for more than $20 million in funding for new initiatives.

republican elephant, democratic donkey
DonkeyHotey / Flickr/Creative Commons

North Carolina democrats laid out their legislative priorities for the upcoming short session, and a plan they hope will win them votes in this year's mid-term elections to break the republican veto-proof majority in the General Assembly.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week’s WUNCPolitics podcast is an extended version of our regular Week In State Politics segment that airs every Friday with Rob Schofield, executive director of the progressive N.C. Policy Watch, and Becki Gray, senior vice president of the conservative John Locke Foundation.

Gov. Roy Cooper addresses reporters on Thursday, May 10, 2018 regarding his $24.5 billion spending proposal.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper and top legislative Republicans agree on one thing: North Carolina is enjoying a fourth consecutive revenue surplus this fiscal year. They just disagree on what to do with it.

File photo of Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), right, smiling at Vice President Mike Pence, left, after a tax policy event in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, April 20, 2018. Pittenger lost a close primary race to Republican Mark Harris.
Chuck Burton / AP

There was at least one big upset in North Carolina congressional primaries Tuesday: incumbent Robert Pittenger lost a close race to Republican Mark Harris, a challenger he beat by only 134 votes two years ago.

Voting sign
Wikipedia Commons

Polls are open today as voters select party nominees for congressional, state legislative and local offices.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

This week in North Carolina politics, a conversation about the divide in North Carolina over confederate monuments and the upcoming primary.

WUNC’s reporter Rusty Jacobs discusses these topics with our regular guests: Becki Gray, senior vice president of the conservative John Locke Foundation; and Rob Schofield, executive director of the progressive N.C. Policy Watch.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Primaries are less than a week away and even though Democrats hope this year’s mid-term elections will be swept up in a blue wave, flipping GOP congressional districts in North Carolina will still be a tall order.

WUNC’s Data Reporter Jason DeBruyn joins us this week to talk about the latest campaign finance reports.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

With President Donald Trump’s approval rating low, Democrats nationwide are hoping midterm elections will trigger a blue wave this year that will change the balance of power in Congress. Some political observers believe that wave could wash over some North Carolina districts, including the 2nd, where three Democrats are battling for the chance to replace incumbent Republican George Holding.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Democrats suing Republican legislative leaders over a law canceling judicial primaries this year subpoenaed records from the North Carolina GOP, which, this week, turned up memos outlining the state Republican Party's strategy targeting political opponents.

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

On this week’s review of the week in North Carolina politics: high school students and legislators are on different tracks when it comes to school safety; California billionaire Tom Steyer announces he’ll put $1 million into efforts to flip North Carolina’s 9th District; and Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest says conservatives have faith in God, while liberals answer to no higher power than politics.

Rob Schofield, of NC Policy Watch, and Becki Gray, of the John Locke Foundation, discuss those topics and more with WUNC Political Reporter Rusty Jacobs.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

On this week's episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Politics Reporter Rusty Jacobs sits down with Meredith College Political Science Professor David McLennan, who also directs Meredith Poll.

The two talk about the races for U.S. Congress in North Carolina that are most likely to be competitive in next month’s primary, and this fall’s general election.

Pages