We had a great tour stop in Alamance County on Tuesday, visiting with the Alamance Rotary and with the Economic Development Commission. Thanks to Mike Wilder and the Burlington Times-News for covering our visit.
With Alamance Rotary Club President Bonnie Whitaker
Mike Wilder / Times-News
Dan Forest emphasizes his grass-roots support and extensive travels through North Carolina as part of his campaign for lieutenant governor.
His visit to Burlington on Tuesday was no exception. The Raleigh Republican was here as part of what his campaign described as a 68-county tour of North Carolina. He attended a meeting of the Alamance Rotary Club before talking with local economic development leaders.
“This is our third tour,” Forest said. As the result of earlier campaign swings, “we’ve been to all the counties. I’ve just been getting the lay of the land, talking to people, finding out what’s important to them … If you don’t make the rounds now, you’re probably not going to do it after the election.”
Forest was the leading candidate in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor in May but was short of the 40 percent mark required to win outright. That led to a second primary in July in which he carried 96 of the state’s 100 counties and won almost 68 percent of the vote.
Forest is running for political office for the first time. He contrasts his background with the political and government career of his Democratic opponent, Linda Coleman. She has been the state’s personnel director and served on the Wake County Board of Commissioners and in the N.C. House of Representatives.
“My background is in business,” he said. “I’ve been senior partner in the state’s largest architectural firm.”
He is hopeful statewide leaders can make progress toward a stronger statewide economy, Forest said: “We spend a lot of time in North Carolina looking back to the past,” he said, when tobacco, textiles and furniture were much bigger economic forces.
Forest said high tax rates threaten economic prosperity in North Carolina. The state has the highest corporate income tax rate, the highest personal income tax rate and the highest gasoline tax in the Southeast.
“Those (tax rates) are just not sustainable if we want to be competitive in our region,” he said.
Forest is the son of U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, who is retiring from Congress this year.
Forest said he’s keeping his hopes high for the Nov. 6 election, though few in his party have been elected lieutenant governor in North Carolina. The most recent, Jim Gardner, served from 1989 to 1993. He was the first Republican in the office since 1901.
His chances depend partly on how well Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory do with voters.
“We need the top (Republican candidates) on the ballot to do well,” he said.
Read the article at http://www.thetimesnews.com/articles/-58536--.html