Politics & Government
4:00 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Coleman Faces Forest In Race For Lt. Governor

On November 6th, North Carolina voters will elect a new governor. They're also making selections for Council of State offices. Isaac-Davy Aronson has this look at the two candidates for Lieutenant Governor.

Dan Forest & Linda Coleman

The Lieutenant Governor sits on several state boards and presides over the Senate, but has little direct control over state policies. So Republican Dan Forest and Democrat Linda Coleman have largely been battling over biography and ideology. Forest highlights his years in the private sector.

Dan Forest: "My background is business, being a small business owner and an architect, that's what I've done for my entire career. My opponent has spent her entire career in government."

Coleman does have a long government resume - she's a former Wake County commissioner and state representative, and until earlier this year was director of the Office of State Personnel. But though Forest is a first-time candidate, he has a political pedigree - his mother is Sue Myrick, the retiring 9-term Congresswoman and former mayor of Charlotte.

One of Coleman's main backers, the State Employees Association, has accused Forest of being a right-wing extremist. Coleman simply emphasizes that she's "not an ideologue."

Linda Coleman: "I am a consensus-builder. I am not so far to the right that I can't move to the center, and I'm not so far to the left that I can't move."

Both candidates say their main priority is to create jobs. Coleman says the main difference between her and Forest is that she wants to use further investment in education and infrastructure to lure new industries.

Linda Coleman: "He wants to do it without money. And I really don't know how you begin to get into job recruitment and growing the economy and providing the appropriate infrastructure without some kind of bond or taxes."

But Forest says taxes are already some of the highest in the region.

Dan Forest: "These things are job killers, they're business killers, and I believe we need to reduce the tax burden, revamp our tax system in our state, and not just try to throw money at bringing businesses here when our foundation is not solid."

One-stop early voting runs through Saturday.