Barrett running for governor
By Matt Shaw
Published in News on March 15, 2004 1:59 PM
Dan Barrett is taking a circular route that he hopes will eventually take him to Raleigh.
Barrett, a Davie County commissioner, took a year off from his law practice to campaign for the Republican nomination for governor. He recently completed a Murphy-to-Manteo trip and passed through Goldsboro again Friday.
"I've been focused on getting ground-root support," Barrett said during a visit to the News-Argus. "It's a building-block process."
While other gubernatorial candidates have been unhappy with the delay in this year's primary elections, Barrett feels the delay helps his campaign.
"It's giving me more time to get around the state, to meet people and get my name out there," he said.
Although filing won't open until April, six other Republicans have indicated that they would likely run. They include former GOP State Chairman Bill Cobey, state Sens. Patrick Ballentine and Fern Shubert, former state cabinet officer George Little, former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, and Timothy Cook of Brown Summit.
The Democratic candidate is likely to be Gov. Mike Easley, who was first elected to that office in 2000.
Barrett has tried to distinguish himself from the field, he said. On the campaign trail, he has been talking a great deal about jobs and the shaky economy, losses for farmers, and the "ineptitude of state government," he said.
Voters are angry about the lack of action by Easley and the state to improve the economy, he said. "They're blaming everybody in state government."
That might give Barrett a boost since several of his opponents appear to be "establishment candidates," he said.
Barrett continues to talk about how the state government seized millions of dollars from counties and cities in recent years to balance its own budget but leaving the local governments short.
He also is focusing his campaign on running state government more efficiently, in order to provide the services people need and to lower their tax burden.
Voters always ask his stance on same-sex marriage, he said. "There won't be same-sex marriage in North Carolina while I'm governor. I oppose it, and I'll do everything I can to preserve traditional marriages."
He called the issue secondary, though, to those dealing with the state's rising Medicaid and insurance costs, its economy, and cost-cutting in state government.
A native of Laurinburg, Barrett is the son of Don Barrett, who was a textile employee and a former member of the Laurinburg City Council, and Betty, a public school teacher.
Barrett lives in Advance, with his wife, Kathleen, and their two children, Daniel, 10, and Rebekah, 5. He received both his bachelor's and law degrees from Wake Forest University. He is a partner in the Winston-Salem law firm of Edwards, Ballard, Clark, Barrett and Carlson. He was recognized by Business North Carolina as one of the best employment lawyers in the state.
He was elected a Davie County commissioner in 2000 and has served as the board's chairman. He has also been chairman of Davie County Hospital's trustees board. He has worked with the Davie County American Red Cross chapter and was named its "Man of the Year" in 2002.
Barrett's sister, Betsy Rosemann, is the Hampton Inn's director of sales.
More information can be found at www.barrettforgovernor.com.
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