Black caucus head criticizes McCrory ad featuring former sheriff

Posted September 25, 2012

— Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, calls Republican candidate Pat McCrory's latest ad in the race for governor "divisive," saying it has racial undertones.

The ad features former Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay, a one-time Democrat who changed his party affiliation to Republican after losing the 2010 primary. Gay, who is white, lost to a former SBI agent and Wilson County deputy who is black and blamed the loss at least partly on African American voters being motivated by race.

Gay appears in a recent ad by McCrory and says the state is heading in the wrong direction.

"Our only hope is Pat McCrory," Gay says in the ad.

McKissick says the use of Gay was meant to stir up racial undertones in the election.

"Who is the 'our' that he is referring to?" McKissick asked during a phone interview Tuesday morning. "You just have to wonder what kind of message he is trying to send."

Click here to read McKissick's letter.

McKissick pointed to the ads producer, Fred Davis, as someone who has produced racially charged ads in the past, including one that targeted President Barack Obama using footage of the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In a letter to the McCrory campaign on Monday, McKissick asks the Republican to step away from racially charged campaigning. 

A McCrory campaign spokesman dismissed McKissick's criticisms.

"It's puzzling to see how this has anything to do with the ad or the election," said Brian Nick, a spokesman for McCrory. "This gentleman has an issue with Sheriff Gay. Our ad is focused on turning North Carolina around and its strange for someone to attack a positive ad." 



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  • firejocky62 Oct 1, 2012

    Here is another probable reason why Gay lost his election. Pay hikes and under the table deals. Mccrory is using Gay for an endorsement. It is true what they say, "birds of a feather flock together". Read it for yourself. http://www.wilsontimes.com/news/feature/story/pay-hikes--amp--politics

  • firejocky62 Oct 1, 2012

    Overtone:An ulterior, usually implicit meaning. Naive:Showing or characterized by a lack of sophistication and critical judgment. This is just to educate these naive reponders that ulterior motives in response to his lost election at which time he quoted as saying "I think the black community realized they had an opportunity to elect a black sheriff, and I think they took advantage of it," said Gay, who is white. "Ninety-eight percent of them voted based on race. They didn't vote based on qualifications." I would also like to point out the lie that Gay told in this ad when he said that he always voted Democrat until "now" which is defined as, at the time immediately before the present. Records show that Gay voted in the May 8th, 2012 primary as a Republican. In closing I will paste this link that will prove that Gay was just part of the good old boy system and his previous rant regarding the race being the factor of his loss is false. http://www.wilsontimes.com/News/Feature/Story

  • eureka1 Sep 29, 2012

    We are just finishing a four yr round with the worst Gov.this state has seen, and the voters want to elect someone from this SAME party? Why? McKissick and the Dem party are the ones race baiting with their ads now.

  • COPs eye Sep 28, 2012

    Sheriff Gay stated what he believed and in part it was true, however it was not the only reason he lost the election. Politicians lose b/c they no longer do the job they were elected to do. He is supposedly going to be in a comfy job when McCrory gets elected. Interesting to see.

  • silverfox Sep 26, 2012

    It goes without saying that nationalism is important for a nation to prosper. If a citizen doesn't consider the United States "their nation," what happens to nationalism? This is "my nation" whether I'm blue or green. In this particular reference, it isn't the denial of a racial preoccupation but a presumption of one. It goes without saying, racism is definitely not dead...however, this ad does not appear to be racist in no way shape or form. "Our" is such a broad term it could have included: Sheriffs (they are referenced in the ad), North Carolinians (they are referenced in the ad), or Democrats (also referenced specifically in the ad). So, where is the racial overtone?

  • Raptor06 Sep 26, 2012

    As stated by President Lincoln, our preoccupations and denial about the influences of race will destroy this nation. It appears we will continue to walk that walk. It's similar to that statement: "We want our nation back." To that I say, "It's not just YOUR nation." We are a nation of different peoples with different beliefs. But we are suppose to be Americans first.The Roman Empire died, due to internal issues, so I guess we are determined to follow.

  • silverfox Sep 26, 2012

    There are no racial undertones within this ad, period. It refers to no specific group other than the North Carolina citizens as a whole. Should we assume that when Sen. McKissick uses the term "our" he is also using a racial undertone? Furthermore, it is more than inappropriate for Sen. McKissick to use letterhead that states "North Carolina General Assembly" at the top for campaign purposes. Even though the letter states "Not paid for at state expense" at the bottom, that reference should not be made for campaign purposes. To use letterhead with the NC General Assembly at the top for campaign purposes raises a presumption of impropriety.

  • just my2cents Sep 26, 2012

    HOW is this racially motivated??

  • SaveEnergyMan Sep 25, 2012

    I've seen the ad and it never crossed my mind that it was racial in any way. Most of the voters have completely forgotten about 2010.

    The former sheriff is probably right about how he lost the election, but it's not politically correct to say such things.

  • driverkid3 Sep 25, 2012

    I've seen this ad, and I don't understand where McKissick's claims of racism is coming from. Sometimes, I think the racism card is thrown out to deflect attention from something.