Democratic candidates seek support of educators
Posted February 17, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor gathered at an event in Raleigh Friday evening to raise money and support from the education community.
Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton, former Congressman Bob Etheridge and State Representative Bill Faison spoke at a party-sponsored event held at the headquarters of the North Carolina Association of Educators.
The candidates agree that quality education is key to the future of North Carolina, but they differ on how to achieve the goal of putting education first.
Dalton emphasized aligning education with the jobs available. "We are aligning our educational efforts with the work force needs of the future," he said. "That's going to help us attract business and help us grow business. That's what we should be about."
Etheridge, who served as state superintendent before his tenure in Congress, is a familiar face to the NCAE. He said his goal is to make educators feel appreciated again.
"We have to reinvent, refocus and the resources have to be put in K-12, community colleges and our universities so we can build that bright 21st century that we all want," Etheridge said.
For his part, State Rep. Bill Faison wants to prepare students for what he terms "an Internet economy."
"We ought to be giving every kid who enters high school a laptop, PDA, iPad, something that gives them full access to the Internet – not just at school but also at home," he said.
The three candidates who spoke Friday will be joined on the Democratic primary ballot by at least two more. Gary Dunn, of Matthews, and Gardenia M. Henley, of Winston-Salem, filed notice of their candidacy Friday.
Candidates have until Feb. 29 to enter the race. One-stop coting begins as early as April 19 in some places. the official primary date is May 8.