10/25/04 — Endorsement: U.S. Senate

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Endorsement: U.S. Senate

A new U.S. senator will be elected Nov. 2 to replace vice presidential candidate John Edwards. For a conservative living in eastern North Carolina, the choice between the two Senate hopefuls is a particularly interesting one.

On one hand, there is Democrat Erskine Bowles of Charlotte. Few politicians are more familiar with the needs of the needy areas of North Carolina, the East and the mountains. Bowles spent months studying those needs as the head of former Gov. Jim Hunt’s Commission on Rural Prosperity.

Bowles appointed by President Clinton to head the Small Business Administration and, later, to be Clinton’s White House chief of staff. Even if you don’t appreciate the association with Clinton, former White House chief of staff is not a bad entry on a new senator’s resume.

On the other hand, there is dynamic Richard Burr, a Republican from Winston-Salem who has served 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. If it’s conservatism you want, Burr can be counted on for considerably more of it than Bowles.

Burr has stood for conservative values in Congress, even while making health care a priority interest. As a congressman from a tobacco city he has, naturally, also sought to protect tobacco interests. He was the only tobacco-state member of the conference committee that framed the successful quota-buyout legislation.

On social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, Burr holds to the conservative line that is in tune with the thinking of most Tar Heels.

North Carolina’s interests aside, the nation as a whole would be better off with a more conservative Senate. Many of the values that most of us hold dear are not shared by the Democrats’ leaders in the Senate — Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy. Committee chairmanships go to senators in the party with the most members. We would be better off if that were the Republican Party.

Vote for Burr.

Published in Editorials on October 25, 2004 10:41 AM