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Dalton, McCrory crisscross ENC, Wilson
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Dalton, McCrory crisscross ENC, Wilson
Democratic governor hopeful greets residents on heels of McCrory visit

Beatrice Freeman already gave him her vote. On Saturday, she gave Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton her enthusiastic endorsement.

Freeman shook hands with Dalton and posed for a snapshot with the Democratic gubernatorial candidate during the Wilson Whirligig Festival on Saturday.

"I just told him I was just an average person on the street,” Freeman said. "I’m a retired teacher, I’m a Democratic woman and I volunteer endlessly. It’s the average person like me who he’s going to represent.”

Dalton and wife Lucille Dalton greeted festival-goers outside the Wilson Chamber of Commerce at the corner of Nash and Pine streets. His appearance follows a Friday campaign stop by Republican rival Pat McCrory at Parker’s Barbecue.

Freeman, a Wilson resident and Wilson County Democratic Party volunteer, said she cast her ballot for Dalton during one-stop early voting on Oct. 18.

"I feel like it was a real honor to meet him and his wife,” she said. "It was quite a big surprise. I didn’t know he was coming.”



Dalton said the Wilson County residents he met are most concerned about education and the economy.

"I’ve been very energized going up and down the streets of Wilson,” he said. "We’ve been meeting a lot of people and a lot of families. They want the best for their kids.”

The sitting lieutenant governor and former state senator said he would invest in public education, including the More at Four program for rising kindergartners and early college high schools, which allow students to earn high-school diplomas and associate’s degrees simultaneously.

"The DNA of this state has always been about educational opportunities, from the first public university to the early college system,” Dalton said. "That’s how you build a better state.”

Dalton faults Republicans for cuts to early childhood education. Under GOP leadership, the General Assembly reduced Smart Start funding by 20 percent in 2011.

"This election truly does make a difference,” he said. "We’re at a crossroads.”

Former Gov. Jim Hunt and his wife, Carolyn, greeted the Daltons and posed for photos during the campaign stop. Hunt called the lieutenant governor "a great educational leader.”

"He has always been so encouraging to me — not only in encouraging words, but he has been an inspiration to me,” Dalton said.



Dalton used the Whirligig Festival’s theme — folk-art decorations with spinning propellers — as a segue way to talk about wind power and other alternative energy sources.

"We need to always strive for energy independence,” he said. "We need to have an all-inclusive energy policy, but we have to be very careful about not damaging our environment.”

Dalton and campaign staffers also stopped in Greenville and Goldsboro and made an appearance at the Sweet Potato Festival in Snow Hill.

"This is what the fall of the year in North Carolina is all about — people coming together,” Dalton said.

Festival-goers shook Dalton’s hand vigorously and posed for smartphone photos with the smiling candidate.

"I told him I saw the debate, and I was pretty impressed with his views on the issues,” Marqus Hoskins of Wilson said.

Rocky Mount resident Ernestine Harden wanted Dalton to know he has her support.

"He’s the next governor,” Harden said. "I’ve got his back.”



McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor and retired Duke Energy executive, also spoke about education during a Friday campaign stop in Wilson.

Over fried chicken and iced tea, McCrory said he wants North Carolina to become a global leader in teaching with technology. He met with Wilson County GOP leaders and spoke to diners at Parker’s Barbecue.

"We’ve got to think out of the box and not teach kids the way we did 20, 40 years ago,” McCrory said.

The Republican candidate, who leads Dalton in statewide polls, said tablet computers should replace textbooks in North Carolina classrooms.

"That would save the schools and the students money, and you’ll be able to reach out and get the best education possible through an iPad,” he said.

McCrory said the Tar Heel State should retool its corporate tax to give it a competitive edge over surrounding states. North Carolina’s business tax is the fifth-highest among 14 Southeastern states.

"My biggest concern right now is at least having our income tax and our business tax competitive with Virginia and South Carolina,” McCrory said. "We’re going to reward productivity as opposed to punishing it.”


Times Staff Writer Janet Connor-Knox contributed to this story. | 265-7821
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I raelly needed to find this info, thank God! said...

I raelly needed to find this info, thank God!

Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 3:03 PM
Dalton and Perdue said...

and the rest of the corrupt democrats are toast and will be sent packing to join A B " show me the money" Swindell and the rest of the democratic former majority bunch of crooks , sent packing two years ago. end of story

Sunday, November 04, 2012 at 5:18 PM
@ Oh said...

The same universe that put McCrory on the front page of the paper and still has him front and center on the front of the online edition.

Sunday, November 04, 2012 at 9:49 AM
Oh, my God! said...

Give me a break! In what universe was this newsworthy?

Saturday, November 03, 2012 at 7:41 PM
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