Former Charlotte Mayor, Vinroot, Ready to Lead the State
Posted November 2, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
CHARLOTTE — North Carolina's governors race has been described as a dead heat between DemocratMike Easleyand RepublicanRichard Vinroot. Easley has let Vinroot in the polls all year, butlate numbers showVinroot gaining.
Vinroot, the former mayor of Charlotte, did not hesitate to shed his suit jacket and recite the Boy Scout oath before speaking to a group of children at a recent candidate's forum.
It is a gesture of integrity that, he says, separates him from his Democratic opponent.
"Anybody can learn to make a speech," says Vinroot to the group. "What I can't make up is my life, and the things that are most important to me are the things I learned in my family. My mom and dad were great role models for me."
Vinroot says his parents helped shape his conservative values. He takes full credit for the competitive drive that fueled his decision to run for governor again after his loss in the 1996 Republican primary.
Among other things, Vinroot says he learned he had to do a better job of selling himself and explaining the issues.
"One, I want to test our teachers with a comprehensive test to be sure that the most talented people teach our children. Two, I want to pay our teachers based on their performance," he says.
Vinroot has spent a good deal of time stressing his positions and proposals. He wants to restrict the size of government, get tougher on criminals, and when it's possible, look outside government to fix problems.
"The best answers are going to come from science. We have one of the greatest scientific universities in this nation right here in Raleigh, North Carolina at N.C. State University. And those folks can help us figure out how to clean up our environment," he says.
The Republican candidate says voters can count on him to challenge the status quo in Raleigh.
"I made a lot of promises in this campaign to run for governor. I intend to keep them," he says.
Vinroot has a busy schedule in the closing days of the campaign. Monday, he will be in Raleigh for a Republican candidates rally on Hillsborough Street.