Local News

State Employees Association Opposes House Incumbent

Posted July 6, 2004 4:40 a.m. EDT

— The streets in Granville and Vance counties are lined with campaign signs. State Rep. Jim Crawford's 20 years in the state House received some strong opposition Tuesday, not from a candidate, but a lobbying group.

"The state employees and retirees of North Carolina with the south Granville Political Action Committee will be endorsing Dr. James Gooch for House District 32," said Dana Cope, of the State Employees Association.

"I'm not going to be a person that just shows up, but I'm going to be someone that rolls up my sleeves and works for the community. I love doing that," said Gooch, a retired executive from the DuPont Corp.

The surprise endorsement comes as state employees want lawmakers to know they are not happy with pay raises in previous budget years.

"If my state employees think I haven't worked for them all these years, they need to vote for Mr. Gooch," Crawford said.

Crawford said he has worked to win state employees better pay in the budget.

"I have worked for them for 20 years and I know where the bodies are buried," he said. "I hope they understand that I can do things for them that a freshman can't pretend to do."

Since there is no Republican contest, the winner in the July 20 primary wins the seat.