07/26/04 — Vinroot: A good man, a wise decision

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Vinroot: A good man, a wise decision

Former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot has bowed out of the Republican race for governor of North Carolina. He and former State Sen. Patrick Ballantine — and former Congressman Bill Cobey, for that matter — had finished in a virtual dead-heat in the Republican primary.

That speaks well of all three of them.

Vinroot came in a razor-edge close second and could have called for a runoff for the nomination. The veteran of three campaigns announced quickly that he would not do so.

It was a wise move and one that perhaps could set an example for his fellow Republicans who at times have managed to slash and burn and alienate each other with internal fighting before trying to patch themselves up and stagger into the general elections.

Richard Vinroot apparently recognized that if after three campaigns he could muster the support of less than a third of his own party members, the torch of his fiscally conservative agenda obviously might better be advanced by the younger, charismatic Patrick Ballantine who had risen quickly to the role of party leadership in the State Senate.

That decision will spare his party the expense and any intraparty evisceration that could plague the Republican cause and bless the Democrats in November.

Richard Vinroot, with his background, his philosophy — and his sound, practical judgment — might well have been the best of any of the candidates in the race for governor.

But that same sound, practical judgment perhaps best explains his decision.

Published in Editorials on July 26, 2004 12:18 PM