Dem candidates for lieutenant governor differ on sales tax, agree on Parker

On the Record talks to the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor about making the job their own, whether they want to be governor and the current crisis at the party headquarters.

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Mark Binker

Linda Coleman, a former state representative and current director of state personnel, and Sen. Eric Mansfield, a doctor and freshman state senator, are running for lieutenant governor. They both appeared on WRAL's "On the Record" this week to answer questions about their campaigns and the news of the day.

David Crabtree and I asked them about their plans for the job, whether they support the marriage amendment and whether they want to run for governor one day.

Both Coleman and Mansfield said Democratic Party Chairman David Parker should have resigned immediately rather than waiting for a state executive committee meeting after the primary.

“I don’t think the greater good is being served by our party chairman at this point," Coleman said. Asked whether Parker addressed the concerns about his leadership during a news conference this week, Mansfield said, "not in a way that I would like.”

Sales tax

The leading Democratic candidates for governor say they favor raising the state sales tax by three-quarter of one cent in order to better fund public education. But Mansfield and Coleman differ on this point.

Mansfield said he wants to fully fund education but raising the sales tax is not the way to do it.

“I don’t believe in using these band-aid measures, short term solutions, for long term problems,” he said. What the state needs, Mansfield said, is “broad tax reform.”

Coleman said that the state education system would "regress" without more funding next year. Already, she said, North Carolina is losing ground on public education gains made in the past 12 years.

“If we don’t get the three-quarter of a cent tax I would expect we would be even further behind," she said.

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