Local News

History-Making Election Will Give N.C. Its First Female Lt. Governor

Posted October 3, 2000

— North Carolina will make history Nov. 7 -- the day it elects the first female lieutenant governor. There are three contenders for the post this year, all of whom are women.

Republican Betsy Cochrane, Democratic candidate Beverly Perdue and Reform Party candidate Christine Carter debated their positions in front of a live audience Wednesday.

Both Cochrane and Perdue are experienced state senators who used to teach. Cochrane wants to give students the chance to use government money to go to private or parochial schools.

"I'm a classroom teacher," Cochrane says. "I would never do anything to harm the schools, but I think it would be appropriate to try some vouchers."

Perdue vows to fight school vouchers.

"I would never allow a discussion of vouchers to go beyond just that -- a discussion," she says. "I'm adamantly opposed to that."

The Reform Party's Christine Carter, a writer, offered an alternative, but avoided specifics.

"I've headed down another road, as you can tell," she says. "I've headed down this new paradigm . I follow nature's blueprint."

TheAmerican Association of Retired Personshelped sponsor the debate. Cochrane and Perdue both support increased funding for home care for the elderly.

Some say the lieutenant governor's role has diminished over the years. Still, the No. 2 person in state government presides over theN.C. Senate, sits on theN.C. Board of Educationand other powerful committees. That person would also lead the state if something happened to the governor.

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