Free for all
When incumbent Gov. Bev Perdue announced she wouldn’t be running for a second term this year, it created a political vacuum with beaucoups ramifications, both for the election and our state. Let’s look at the big picture, shall we?
Triad — McCrory is from Jamestown — is a real candidate, a professional politician with access to the kind of money it takes to win the seat. On Monday Joines said he wouldn’t be running, but remember the old adage: Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.
Gov. Perdue, a former teacher, said she was dropping out of the race in order to help our schools, because her presence in the election will “only further politicize the fight to adequately fund our schools.” But she’s also got a political scandal brewing. Three of her associates were indicted in November for allegedly filing false campaign reports. But she was also trailing by 10 points her Republican challenger, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.
Pat McCrory, who ran against Perdue in 2008, looked pretty good for the post before she dropped out. But now he’ll have to face someone else, presumably someone with less political baggage than Perdue.
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton announced his intention to run for governor within 24 hours of Perdue’s withdrawal. Dalton, a Democrat from the western part of the state, also lists education as one of the planks of his platform. And though he is the only D in the race as of yet, he will likely have to face off against at least one candidate, and possibly several, in a primary.
NC Rep. Bill Faison of Orange County has been making noise about state government on a tour with a plan to raise taxes and hire back state workers. He threw his hat in the ring this week.
Within hours of Perdue’s announcement, Winston-Salem Mayor Alan Joines told the Winston-Salem Journal’s Laura Graff that he would not “rule out” a run for governor. Joines, another city mayor with ties to the
US Rep. Brad Miller said he will not run again for Congress after being drawn out of the 13th District, but has expressed at least some interest in the governorship. As I write this, the Progressive Change Committee, the group that raised more than $600,000 for Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign, is gauging interest in Miller’s candidacy. Miller made his name as a progressive candidate and enjoys solid name recognition in the central part of the state.
With Perdue’s withdrawal, it looks as though there will need to be a primary for the governor’s race on the Democrat side, necessitating debate and bringing more issues to the fore. This is good news for the state and its people.
The proposed Defense of Marriage Act, slipped in as a referendum into the May primary by state Republicans, was supposed to pass easily, because Republicans would be voting in greater numbers to choose the presidential candidate to face President Obama. But with a Democratic governor’s primary, this will bring more Dems to the polls, making the bill’s future more uncertain. Purple state What all this means for the General Election in November remains unclear. Obama, who carried the state in 2008, needs it to win re-election — one of the reasons why the Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte this year. But I honestly have no idea how interest in the gubernatorial race will affect the presidential contest. I just know that it will.