- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory has named a well-known lobbyist who previously worked for U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms as a new deputy chief of staff.

Jimmy Broughton of Winston-Salem served as Helms’ chief of staff from 1994 until the Republican senator’s retirement in 2003. Since then, Broughton worked as a state and federal lobbyist at the law and lobbying firm Womble Carlyle.

According to state lobbying registration records, Broughton filed forms to sever his ties from his clients on Thursday. He was still listed as an employee at the firm as of Monday. Broughton did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment.

His recent clients included for-profit charter school management companies and the large health-care provider Vidant Health. Broughton’s past federal lobbying clients included tobacco giant Reynolds American and the military contractor Blackwater Worldwide, records show.

McCrory Chief of Staff Thomas Stith said Monday that an ethics review has determined Broughton’s lobbying work will present no “actual or potential” conflicts of interest once he joins the Republican governor’s staff on Jan. 5.

“Jimmy’s experiences are an asset to the state of North Carolina,” Stith said. “My staff has been held to extremely high ethical and professional standards and will continue to be held to the highest of standards. I expect the same out of Jimmy.”

Broughton’s annual salary will be $130,000. McCrory already has one deputy chief of staff, John Baldwin. Both will report to Stith.

A Raleigh native, Broughton is the grandson of former North Carolina Gov. J. Melville Broughton, a Democrat who led the state from 1941 to 1945.

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