Local Politics

Perdue, McCrory to face off for governor

Posted May 6, 2008
Updated May 7, 2008

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— Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory won their parties' nominations for governor Tuesday, setting up an east-west clash for the state's top office in November.

Perdue easily outdistanced State Treasurer Richard Moore in the Democratic primary. She had 55 percent of the vote to Moore's 41 percent with more than half of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Fred Smith conceded the race to McCrory at about 10 p.m., although neither candidate had a majority of votes with less than 60 percent of precincts reporting.

Perdue and Moore, two political veterans, hammered on each other for months, with Perdue suggesting Moore was too closely aligned with Wall Street investment bankers and Moore accusing Perdue of cronyism and questionable votes as a state senator.

Perdue decided last month to pull all of her negative ads and focus a positive campaign on issues like improving education and the state's economy.

"It certainly allowed her to focus on her message ... rather than focusing on someone else in the race," said David Kochman, Perdue's campaign manager.

Perdue told her supporters that her nomination was "a victory for our message of opportunity and standing up for the middle class."

Meanwhile, Moore continued to batter Perdue with negative ads, including two attempts to link her to the Ku Klux Klan that many observers likened to race-baiting.

Former State Auditor Ralph Campbell, a veteran Democratic politician, said the negative ads backfired on Moore and solidified Perdue's support among black voters across North Carolina.

A late ad in which iconic actor Andy Griffith endorsed Perdue also helped her campaign, Campbell said.

Carter Wrenn, a veteran Republican strategist known for using racial politics in races for former Sen. Jesse Helms, said the outcry over Moore's late ads hurt his candidacy in the final weeks of the campaign.

Democrats statewide need to pull together after the hard-fought, often bitter, race, said Rufus Edmisten, a former North Carolina secretary of state and another veteran Democratic politician.

"(They) need to make amends and start getting people on their side and not walking around being cocky," Edmisten said.

Smith, who ran a folksy campaign featuring barbecue dinners in each of the state's 100 counties, was following that advice on the GOP side. He quickly pledged to support McCrory in the general election campaign.

"The most important thing is that we help elect a Republican governor," he said in a concession speech. "At the end of the day, I think if we're working together, we can make a better state."

A GOP unity conference was scheduled for Wednesday morning in Raleigh.

McCrory, who campaigned on his experience leading the state's largest city,  told his supporters in Charlotte that he would "bring a new culture" to Raleigh, focusing on a vision for North Carolina's future and solving problems.

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  • RocknRollDoctor May 7, 2008

    For North Carolinian's, this race is more important than the presidency.

    The Democrats have ruled this state for the past 4 terms and we still have the likes of jman telling us that it's the Republicans fault. How exactly can that be the case?

    Jim Black and his buddies made sure the Democrats illegally stayed in control of the legislature and rammed a lottery down the throats of an unapproving public.

    Government spending has gone through the roof. The 2 largest agencies (Transportation and Education) are performing poorly. Yet, let's blame the Republicans.

    Yes, Perdue will win. The Dems will show up in record numbers for Obama and blindly vote her into office.

    HOW LONG before she REFUSES to DEBATE McCrory?

    She'll lay low and get elected by the uninformed. She'll dissappear into the mansion and NOTHING will change in our state government. The same people calling the shots today will be calling the shots once she's elected.

    Another 8 years of mismanagement.

  • keepitreal May 7, 2008

    The best news of the day!

    FRED SMITH LOST!!!!

    NC is now spared from him.

  • iwideopen May 7, 2008

    The Republicans have made a mess out of everything. They keep hollering about taxes this and taxes that. But the only thing that I see is that good paying jobs are leaving only to be replaced by low wage service sector jobs. Unaffordable health care that they say they are gonna fix by giving you a $2000 tax break. And their plan to fix social security is to put it into the stock market. And finally I do not care about Iraq (they made a mess out of that too).

    Pat McCroy is one of them and I ain't about to help them take more of my money and give it to their rich cronies.

    I voted for Bev Perdue in the primaries and I'm gonna vote for her in the race for govenor.

  • jeffthompson May 7, 2008

    Charlotte's murder rate is only double that of Raleigh. But you can expect that because Charlotte has double the population of Raleigh. Raleigh had like 40 murders in 2007 and Charlotte had 85. Pat McCrory has won a record 7 terms as mayor of Charlotte and many local Democrats support him.

    GO PAT GO!

    Time for a Western NC person to become Govenor. If Pat wins...he will focus alot on Charlotte. Charlotte is so hated by many politicians in Raleigh. Charlotte must not be that bad...it has grown at a faster pace than any large NC city and is the largest & most progressive city in NC.

  • atc2 May 7, 2008

    Hey Jeff, fighting crime and gangs? Charlotte has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Just what we need, his plan across the state for fighting crime! GO Perdue (and I am Republican).

  • jeffthompson May 7, 2008

    GO PAT GO! I am 1000% a DEMOCRAT but will be voting for McCrory (Republican). I grew up in Raleigh but have lived in the GREAT city of Charlotte for the last 16 years. He has done very positive things for Charlotte like fighting crime & gangs. It is time that we have a Govenor from the Western part of NC. Charlotte and Western NC have been ignored way to long! GO PAT GO!!!

  • davidgnews May 7, 2008

    NOW it's really gonna get ugly !

  • beachboater May 7, 2008

    I've been impressed by McCroy so far. I plan to vote for him again in November. Bev Perdue seems to me to be a person that I would like to have a neighbor or even a mother in law, but not for governor.

    McCroy seems to have some business savy and I value that in a governor. I think it's time for another republican governor. We could certainly could use some tax relief ie spending reductions.

  • OnlyOneVoice May 7, 2008

    McCrory definitely has this State Employee's vote. Without a doubt.

  • doodad May 7, 2008

    Pat McCroy does have a chance. He's on the ballot, and will get more independent votes that Fred Smith would have. Thank God he won.

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