Local Politics

Economy could tilt gubernatorial election

Posted September 16, 2008 5:13 p.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2008 6:56 p.m. EDT

— The continued struggles of the state and national economy could be the key issue in the gubernatorial race between Democrat Beverly Perdue and Republican Pat McCrory, according to many political observers.

"The candidate who is able to capture the issue, define it for voters and explain to them what they're going to do is going to be the front-runner and likely winner," Democratic consultant Brad Crone said.

Polls show voters are most concerned about jobs and the wild swing in gas prices, Crone said.

"My message would start with Washington – get busy and do your job," Perdue said.

Perdue said she supports the crackdowns on potential gasoline price-gouging and on predatory lending. She also said she believes North Carolina's economy remains fundamentally strong.

"My role as governor is to be sure that kids get a good education and opportunity to do better than their parents and that folks being displaced from the work force now have good worker training and jobs available to them," she said.

McCrory said the economy will die if it relies solely on service and government jobs. He says the job of governor requires a pro-business, hands-on leader.

"You communicate to the public to remain calm," McCrory said. "The governor needs to go out and meet with business – existing businesses – and go, 'OK, how can we work together? Are there bureacratic things in your way or barriers that are stopping you from expanding in North Carolina?'"