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Lt. Gov. Race Overshadowed By Governor's Contest

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Although much of the attention in our state this election year has been focused on the governor's race, the No. 2 spot -- lieutenant governor -- is also up for grabs.

And although it has not been in the spotlight as much as the governor's race, it's been just as contentious.

As the first woman to hold the office, Democrat Bev Perdue has expanded her duties beyond State Senate president: She chairs the Health & Wellness Trust Fund and leads the state's effort to protect its military bases.

Among her accomplishments, she lists the creation of a prescription drug program for seniors.

"I did that and it didn't happen just because it happened," Perdue said. "It happened because a lot of hard work and seeing a problem and developing a long-term strategy."

But Perdue's Republican opponent says she hasn't done enough.

Jim Snyder is a Triad lawyer who briefly served in the legislature after being appointed to his father's seat when he died back in the early 1970s.

"I'm very proud of my father and tried to follow in his footsteps in many ways," Snyder said.

After 30 years, Snyder tried politics again, but lost to Elizabeth Dole in the 2002 Senate primary.

Despite a low-key campaign, he hopes his ideas make waves.

One is a retirement security plan in which the state would invest $700 for every child born.

"Every year we would be producing potentially 100,000 millionaires in North Carolina," Snyder said.

But Perdue is skeptical of the plan.

"I find that a bit bizarre -- nearly as bizarre as his plan to help education by increasing the number of kids in our classrooms," Perdue said.

Snyder is against decreasing class sizes because it means increasing classrooms and teachers. He said he would rather use the money to pay current teachers more.

"When I was in school we had 30 kids to a teacher and we all did fine," Snyder said.

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