Politics & Government
7:16 am
Thu July 5, 2012

GOP Runoff For Lieutenant Governor

Early voting is underway in North Carolina's primary run-off elections. In races in which no candidate received more than 40% of the vote in the May 8th primary, the top 2 vote-getters face off on July 17th for their party's nomination. In addition to several U.S. House and General Assembly seats, there are run-offs for 5 statewide offices.

Isaac-Davy Aronson: Dan Forest was the top vote-getter in the May 8th primary, with 33%. He's no stranger to politics - his mother is Sue Myrick, the retiring 9-term Congresswoman and former mayor of Charlotte. But Forest has never held office, and stresses his conservatism, his faith, and his decades in the Raleigh business world, as an architect.

Dan Forest: We are visionaries, we're planners, we're creative problem solvers, we're consensus builders, forward thinkers. I think those are good characteristics and qualities for somebody in executive leadership in government to have.

Forest says combating unemployment would be his top priority. He'd phase out the state's corporate income tax, lower the gas tax, and create a small business tax bracket.

Dan Forest: These are things that if we do immediately in our state, I believe we will see an immediate impact of innovation and job creation.

One thing Forest won't do is criticize his opponent, Tony Gurley.

Dan Forest: I have never tried to differentiate myself from Tony. I consider Tony a friend.

Gurley is a Raleigh pharmacist and a 10-year veteran of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. He came in second in last month's primary, with 25%. Like Forest, he says he wants to be a champion for small business. And he says improving the tax climate doesn't mean undermining funding for public goods like the university system.

Tony Gurley: I believe that by reducing the tax burden, the economy will grow and the total revenues to the state will increase because of the economic growth.

Gurley says his record is what separates him from Forest.

Tony Gurley: I can actually point to accomplishments that are very conservative in nature, as opposed to my opponent who has never been elected to office and never served. He only has the rhetoric of conservative ideas.

Gurley is particularly proud that during his tenure the Wake Board put the entire county budget online. Plus, he says the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, Linda Coleman, was ousted from the Wake Board by him and his fellow Republicans in the 2002 election.

Tony Gurley: I've done it before. I'd love to have the opportunity to do it again.

One-stop voting runs through July 14th.