RALEIGH, N.C. — Of the six candidates running for the state's Republican gubernatorial nomination, Bill Cobey is the oldest and most conservative. The candidate sees both qualities as a plus.
It has been 18 years since
ran for political office. As chairman of the state Republican Party, he says GOP faithful urged him to seek the state's top job.
"People said to me that 'You're the best person to face Mike Easley and if you can't get Jim Martin to run again, you're going to have to run," Cobey said.
Cobey says he did try to recruit former Gov. Jim Martin and accepted the challenge when Martin turned him down.
He believes his experience in Martin's Cabinet gives him a leg up on his competitors.
Cobey also points to his time in Congress and local government. He welcomes the distinction of being called the most conservative Republican candidate on both fiscal and social issues.
"If people say I'm the most conservative candidate, that's fine with me," he said. "It doesn't make any difference. They're probably right."
On social issues, he is against abortion and same-sex marriage. When it comes to the economy, Cobey says his top priority will be adding jobs.
"In order to do that, we have to significantly reduce our tax rates across the board -- both individual and corporate tax rate, so we can offer a business-friendly environment," he said.
Cobey believes improving the economy will improve the future for all North Carolinians. He believes the state is ready for change.
Cobey also wants to establish what he calls an ethics board to oversee state government. He would give the board the authority to investigate state officials and require lobbyists to disclose all their activities.