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Wicker Says He Wants to Take NC to the Next Level as Governor

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RALEIGH — Next Tuesday, North Carolina voters will head to the polls and narrow down the choices for our next governor.

This week, WRAL's David Crabtree sits down with the major candidates, starting withLt. Governor Dennis Wicker.

"I want to take North Carolina to a new level," Wicker says.

Wicker would also like to take himself to a new level.

He has been the man behind Governor Jim Hunt for the past eight years and says the job has been interesting.

"There are days you have to eat a big ol' piece of humble pie and you feel like you make two steps backwards," he says. "But then there are days that you feel good about what you're doing."

Wicker says he feels good about what he has done, especially his lead in toughening drunk driving laws.

"I will tell you there is nothing more moving emotionally than looking in the eyes of a family member who's lost a loved one to a drunk driver or had someone be maimed by a drunk driver, and so I decided if I ever got in the position to do something about it, I would," he says.

Wicker has spent two decades in politics, serving in the state house before running for Lt. Governor.

He has focused his campaign on four major issues: eliminating hog lagoons, campaign finance reform, education, and the one issue he may be most identified with:the lottery.

"People are playing the lottery now in North Carolina. We have $100 million a year every year going to Virginia," he says.

Wicker says he wants a lottery only if the money goes directly to education.

He says he has given up a lot of family time to make this run, but he has their support. "We decided that it was a calling and not an ambition and I had to do this," he says.

There are two major democratic candidates. Tuesday, WRAL will profileAttorney General Mike Easley.


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