02/20/04 — Senate candidate Richard Burr

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Senate candidate Richard Burr

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 20, 2004 2:03 PM

Integrity. Security. Jobs.

These are the three points U.S. Rep. Richard Burr hammers home as he makes the rounds these days campaigning for a seat in the U.S. Senate. The seat is held by Sen. John Edwards, who is running to become the Democrats' nomiee for president. Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, is also seeking the Senate seat.

Richard Burr

News-Argus/Phyllis Moore

Congressman Richard Burr, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, visits Goldsboro on Thursday.

Burr, a Republican, made a stop in Goldsboro on Thursday to introduce himself at Wayne County Republican Headquarters and share some of his views.

Among the issues he spoke about during his brief visit in Wayne County were the need to cap liability for doctors and prevent frivolous lawsuits and his belief that it's time to make the president's proposed tax cuts permanent.

As for the tobacco buyout, he said, it was not an election issue.

"If we haven't got a buyout by the time we hold this election, many farmers will be out of business," he said. "This is something that has to be done before the election."

He also said he stands behind protecting the military bases in North Carolina. He cited the Base Realignment and Closure plan that calls for a review of all military bases in 2005. From it, recommendations will be made for base closures or changes in missions.

"I think the BRAC process is an opportunity for North Carolina," he said. "We should be on the defensive of BRAC."

He said that closing other military bases around the country could be beneficial for the state, as North Carolina could be the recipient of shored-up services.

He viewed his most important task to be gaining the voters' trust.

"I think integrity is important," he said. "I think it will be important in this election. We need leaders we can trust."

He said that elected officials have a responsibility when asked to serve, to represent constituents in a moral and ethical way. He also said that for him, it's about passion and reason.

"Over 10 years ago, my wife, Brooke, and I sat down and agreed that if passionate people don't run for public office, then we can't accomplish big things," he said.

In 1994, he ran for Congress in the 5th District, and since then he has tried to balance the responsibilities of being a congressman, a husband and a father, he said. The only title that matters, though, is that of "Dad." He said he is adamant that at the end of each week he makes it home to Winston-Salem to attend his two teen-age sons' games.

He said his family understands the sometimes empty seat at the dinner table, just as he did growing up the son of a Presbyterian minister.

"I knew he had a commitment that he had made earlier and sometimes it required him to honor that commitment even when it meant missing something," he said.