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Originally published: 2012-11-05 17:51:28
Last modified: 2012-11-05 17:51:28

Election Guide: Governor/Lt. Governor

With Gov. Beverly Perdue’s announcement in January that she would not seek a second term, the doors opened to the state’s highest office.

After a busy primary season, the race narrowed to include Democrat Walter Dalton, Republican Pat McCrory and Libertarian Barbara Howe.

Dalton and McCrory made their pitches to voters in three televised debates last month; Howe was not invited to participate.

Dalton’s step into the gubernatorial arena also meant that the lieutenant governor seat opened, paving the way for a showdown between Democrat Linda Coleman and Republican Dan Forest.

Winners in both races will serve four-year terms.


N.C. Governor


Walter Dalton



Walter Dalton was elected as North Carolina’s lieutenant governor in 2008 after spending 12 years in the N.C. Senate. Before entering government, Dalton was the managing partner of a law firm and served as a county attorney for two decades.

Dalton graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC School of Law.

According to statements from Dalton’s campaign, the candidate’s priorities include increasing job training in growing industries such as nursing, allied health and biotechnology; increasing education funding and expanding early childhood education; promoting family-friendly workplaces; and ensuring openness in Raleigh.


Pat McCrory



Pat McCrory’s claim to fame was a record seven terms as mayor of Charlotte, starting in 1995. Before leading the state’s most populated city, McCrory attended Catawba College and worked for Duke Energy.

He also served three terms on the Charlotte City Council and works for the Moore & Van Allen law firm.

McCrory has said that his priorities, if elected, include curbing high taxes and excessive regulations. He also has said he wants to increase access to virtual and charter schools, move toward merit-based teacher pay and pursue an “all-of-the-above” energy plan.


Barbara Howe



As the former chairwoman of the N.C. Libertarian Party, Barbara Howe has devoted her life to Libertarian activism.

As the Libertarian candidate, Howe writes on her website that winning the election is a “long-shot at best.” That hasn’t stopped her from drafting a set of goals that includes: instituting a tuition tax credit to allow more school choice; eliminating high taxes and excessive regulation; rejecting tax incentives to lure business to the state; putting a moratorium on the death penalty; and repealing the marriage amendment.


N.C. Lieutenant Governor


Linda Coleman



A graduate of N.C. A&T and the University of Pittsburgh, Linda Coleman has been a former school teacher, human resources director for the state of North Carolina, state legislator and Wake County commissioner chairwoman.

Coleman was appointed director of the Office of State Personnel by the governor in 2009.

If elected, Coleman aims to boost job creation by recruiting and maintaining business and industry. She also plans to fight to increase funding to public education and opposes any efforts to privatize the system.

Coleman favors incentives to attract biotechnology and clean energy to the state.


Dan Forest



Known for his “Run, Forest, Run” campaign signs, candidate Dan Forest has served as office president and senior partner at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. A graduate of UNC-Charlotte and the UNC-Charlotte College of Architecture, Forest bills himself as a business man ready to step up to the plate and lead.

Forest says that he sees strong families and faith as the foundation of America, believing in small government, low taxes and free enterprise.

He notes that he favors competition in education, believes in securing borders from illegal immigration and wants to end business recruitment incentives.