Could Brad Miller, who just yesterday announced his retirement from Congress, be urged to turn around and run in the Governor’s race in North Carolina? It could happen.

Hours after Miller made his announcement yesterday, Bev Perdue, the embattled governor of the state, announced that she would not seek re-election. Polling showed that Perdue would not win a second term, and that Republican former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory would romp to victory. This leaves Democrats searching for a replacement on the ticket. And lo and behold, Miller has become available.

Fundraisers are already encouraging him to run:

But shortly after Miller’s announcement, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee sent an email to all of its members in North Carolina asking them if Miller should run for governor, while highlighting his congressional efforts to protect consumers from banking abuses. So far, over 97 percent of respondents have urged Miller to run for governor, according to PCCC spokesman Neil Sroka.

“Brad Miller authored the bill in Congress that would break up the big Wall Street banks and prevent future bailouts,” the PCCC email to members reads. “He also fought to make it easier for North Carolinians to ‘move our money’ from big banks that gamble away our money to smaller community banks.” [...]

“I really did not expect to be thinking about this today,” Miller told HuffPost. “I really had no inkling that Bev was not going to run again. She’d been giving every indication that she was getting ready to run for re-election. I had about an hour this morning getting putzed into my own funeral and getting emails from friends, and then I spent another hour reading emails from those same friends telling me to run for Governor.”

“I just haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone or think about it,” Miller continued. “I had no inkling that this was going to happen.”

There are other potential candidates on the Democratic side, including Lt. Governor Walter Dalton, current Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, current Reps. Mike McIntyre and (Lord help us) Health Shuler and (really lord help us) Bowles-Simpson clown Erskine Bowles. Miller would probably face massive big bank opposition in the home of Wachovia and Bank of America, but with a competitive Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, and the grassroots fundraising potential that could be unlocked for him, Miller does bring some advantages.

Miller’s core strengths were always consumer protection and financial regulation, not quite in the window of the major priorities for a Governor. Attorney General would be a great fit, but Democrat Roy Cooper (who’s on the foreclosure fraud settlement executive committee) will run for re-election.

More than anything, I think the country needs more public servants like Brad Miller, so I’d love to see this happen.