10/24/04 — Bowles comes to Goldsboro

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Bowles comes to Goldsboro

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 24, 2004 2:09 AM

Stephanie Kornegay of Mount Olive looked around for familiar faces at Saturday morning's campaign stop for U.S. Senate hopeful Erskine Bowles. It was her second political rally of the day.

She had already been to a breakfast at Southern Belle Restaurant in Mount Olive for state Sen. John Kerr of Goldsboro.

She needn't have worried. Not only did Kerr and others from Mount Olive join her, but residents from across the county greeted Bowles when he arrived on Center Street in Goldsboro. He was accompanied by his wife, Crandall, and daughter Annie.

Former state Rep. Phil Baddour introduced Bowles, a Democrat, noting it was the candidate's third time stumping in Wayne County in his race against Republican Richard Burr, who has also been in Wayne County over the last two weeks.

"This is the day; this is it," he said. "It's ground level."

Baddour said he had received a call earlier in the morning from former Gov. Jim Hunt. He said Hunt told him he and his wife planned to go door to door campaigning for Bowles.

"If the former governor and his wife can go door to door, we can do it," Baddour said, calling Bowles the best qualified person the state has ever had to run for the office.

Bowles took to the stage and thanked the dedicated Democrats for supporting him.

"I can tell you exactly what's going to happen," he said. "We're going to win this race, and we're going to win it because of you."

He said that in the final 10 days before the election, he wants to especially focus on the undecided voters.

"This is an important election," he said.

He said that despite the influx of advertisements seen on TV, there are too many partisan messages. The issues, he said, are too big to be partisan.

Bowles said he wants to find common-sense solutions and asked for his supporters to follow him to the finish line.

"I encourage you to vote early and vote often, if you can," he said, which drew laughter from the crowd. "If you vote for me on Nov. 2, I'm going to be there for you for the next six years."

Lula Smalley, whose husband, Paul, is a Mount Olive town commissioner, was among those who attended both rallies.

"We have got to get this man in office," she said as Bowles arrived. "It's time for a change."

Jerry West, a tobacco farmer in Fremont, called Bowles a "get 'er done man."

"He doesn't make excuses," West said. "He's got the middle class working person in mind. ... Everything he does is for the working person, not for the large corporations."

West said there are a large number of farmers, both Democrat and Republican, who credit Bowles with playing an important role in the recent tobacco buyout.

The final days of campaigning will find the Bowles' camp covering about 65 counties. He and his family will board 60-foot bus on Monday.

"We're trying to get people excited to go out in the neighborhoods, encouraging people to vote," he said.