|Endorse Roy Cooper for governor; Yvonne Holley for Lt. governor|
|With 1 exception, Democrats for Council of State|
|Published Thursday, October 15, 2020 11:00 pm|
|North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.|
The campaign for North Carolina’s Council of State can be boiled down to competency and trust. There are incumbents who have demonstrated an ability to block out the partisan noise to get the people’s work done while others haven’t been unable or incapable of doing so.
To that end, we’re endorsing a slate heavy on progressives and moderates who understand North Carolina’s shifting politics and longstanding inequities with an eye on detail.
Governor: Roy Cooper
This race is an easy call. Gov. Cooper, the incumbent, has been a steady hand over his first term as the state’s CEO, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where he’s been a thoughtful leader who’s looked out for his constituents first and foremost. We’ll admit staring down President Donald Trump over social distancing rules at the Republican National Convention cemented our impression of Cooper.
His Republican opponent, Dan Forest, strikes us as a reactionary in the vein of Trump, a man married to ideology instead of logic, and in the case of handling the pandemic, wishful thinking. That runs counter to what’s needed at this point for a state in need of answers to long-simmering issues of race inequities in health care, education, law enforcement and voting rights.
Gov. Cooper’s no flaming liberal, but he’s better prepared to lead North Carolina into the future.
Lieutenant governor: Yvonne Lewis Holley
Believe it or not, North Carolinians will elect a Black person to the state’s No. 2 political office, and we believe Miss Holley, a Democratic state representative from Raleigh, is the hands-down better candidate. She’s a long-time center-left public servant who is making her first run for state office, the opposite of her opponent, Republican Mark Robinson of Greensboro, who is best known for a 2018 pro-Second Amendment rant before that city’s council.
He’s a darling of the hard-right pro-Trump crowd who trashes Black voters as “slaves” to Democrats and accused former first lady Michelle Obama of being a man in social media posts. That’s no way to engender the support of 22% of the state’s voters, especially a first-time candidate on any level with no discernible platform for governing.
State Treasurer: Dale Folwell
Perhaps it’s due to the primarily non-partisan requirement of the job, but Mr. Folwell, an incumbent Republican, has our recommendation. The state has maintained its AAA bond rating – the highest level – during his tenure, which is a testament to his management of the state’s public employee retirement account.
That rating means North Carolina gets lower interest rates when it comes to funding projects, which is a plus for taxpayers. It’s particularly impressive given the challenges the state faces due to COVID-19, which has put a dent in the workforce and tax base.
We’re also encouraged and excited by the candidacy of a pair of younger candidates in Jenna Wadsworth and Jessica Holmes.
Miss Wadsworth, a Democrat running for agriculture commissioner, strikes us as a progressive capable contender who will bring fresh ideas that can transform the way North Carolina approaches the industry and emerging trends.
Miss Holmes, a Democrat, is campaigning to replace Labor Secretary Cherie Berry, who is retiring after 20 years on the job. The winner will run a department that promotes the “health, safety and general well-being” of the state's more than 3 million workers.
We also endorse incumbent Attorney General Josh Stein, State Auditor Beth Wood and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. They’ve been steadfast stewards of the state’s interests and deserving of re-election.
We also suggest Wayne Goodwin for insurance commissioner.
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