07/20/04 — Ballantine campaigns in Goldsboro

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Ballantine campaigns in Goldsboro

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on July 20, 2004 1:55 PM

Patrick Ballantine dropped by two Goldsboro restaurants Monday, hoping to carry out some votes along with his barbecue.

Ballantine, a Republican running for governor, and his wife, Lisa, campaigned at both Wilber's and McCall's restaurants during lunch Monday. It was part of a campaign swing that also included stops in Fayetteville and New Bern.

"We feel great," Ballantine said in an interview. "The workers are energized, and we're surging in the polls. We're going to work up until the last minute, and it's going to pay off."

Ballantine is among six Republican candidates in today's primary for governor. Polls close at 7:30 p.m.

Unless one candidate garners at least 40 percent of the vote, a runoff will likely be held Tuesday, Aug. 17. Most polls have had former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot in the lead and then either Ballantine or former Congressman Bill Cobey in second. The other candidates are Davie County Commissioner Dan Barrett, N.C. Sen. Fern Shubert, and Southern Pines businessman George Little.

Gov. Mike Easley has only token opposition in today's Democratic primary.

"Our first goal is to get to the runoff," Ballantine said. "We can win any one-on-one contest."

Ballantine continues to campaign with a platform of making cuts in government waste. He has identified more than $1 billion in the state that could be eliminated without any effect on services, he said.

He also promises to bring a new generation of leadership to state government.

Ballantine, 39, of Wilmington served five terms in the N.C. Senate before resigning in April to campaign for governor. From 1998 until this year, he was the Republican Senate leader.

Ballantine is a 1987 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his law degree from the University of Dayton. He and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter, Wilker.

For more information about his campaign, go to www.ballantineforgovernor.com.