07/21/05 — Early start: Impressive field shapes up for governorship

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Early start: Impressive field shapes up for governorship

Associated Press writer Gary D. Robertson recently gave readers a good preview of what North Carolina can expect in its 2008 gubernatorial race.

It’s going to be a humdinger! A free-for-all between candidates in both parties, followed by a great “main event” in the fall.

Democrats and Republicans alike have some potentially strong contenders already in the stables — and most well-groomed.

While some are being a bit coy, the hopes of several are obvious.

Lieutenant Governor Beverly Purdue would like very much to be the state’s first female governor. She has made no formal announcement, but she also has made no secret of that fact.

And she has been high profile in a number of good causes.

Elsewhere, one needs to but have observed the “public service” commercials featuring warnings and helpful advice from Attorney General Roy Cooper and State Treasurer Richard Moore to know they are produced with the fervent hopes of enhancing name recognition. It worked well for Mike Easley when he was running for governor while attorney general.

The approach not only helps the aspiring candidates but provides important information to the citizenry.

These are significant advantages of serving in high state-wide offices. And we must be mindful that people do not rise to those positions without pretty convincing credentials.

All of the aforementioned are Democrats.

Republicans also have some stalwart hopefuls. Sue Myric of Charlotte served as mayor of that great city and has served in Congress for the past 10 years. She has an impressive record of service and is a proven campaigner.

Former leader of Republicans in the State Senate, Patrick Ballantine of Wilmington, made his first bid for state-wide office when he ran unsuccessfully against Mike Easley for governor. He acquitted himself well but lacked the mountains-to-the-coast recognition of Easley who benefitted from an earlier run U.S. Senate and his successful first campaign for governor.

Our own Fred Smith — who represents Johnston and part of Wayne County in the state senate — reportedly also is trying to gather support for the GOP nomination. His greatest obstacle obviously will be trying to gain state-wide name recognition.

While 2008 is a long way off, all North Carolinians should benefit from the early interest in the governorship.

We can count on all the candidates to perform in an outstanding fashion in each of the positions they now hold. And they will be doing their very best to listen to the concerns of the people in every section of the state.

The winner will emerge as a far better person to serve as governor of our great state.

Published in Editorials on July 21, 2005 11:58 AM