04/30/08 — Senate hopeful takes his campaign on road

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Senate hopeful takes his campaign on road

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on April 30, 2008 2:14 PM

With less than a week to go before Tuesday's primary, former state Sen. Tony Moore is still out working to find votes, often spending his afternoons going door to door in various Pitt, Greene and Wayne county neighborhoods.

"It's been pleasant," he said about his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the state Senate District 5 seat. "I'm spending most of my time in Wayne and Greene.

"I'm from Pitt (Winterville) so most of the people know me there. I want to represent the entire district."

That's why, if elected to replace retiring state Sen. John Kerr, D-Wayne, he plans to open an office in Goldsboro and spend at least a couple of days a week in Wayne County.

"I am active in my community, and I plan to be active in Wayne and Greene counties, as well," he said.

And, he continued, it's that kind of hard work and energy, coupled with his experience that makes him the best candidate.

"Anyone other than me will have to learn what I have already learned," Moore said, referring to his one term from 2002 to 2004 representing Pitt and Wilson counties. "It's a complex system with complex personalities, but my experience is the key."

It's that experience, he explained, that will help him move forward quickly on issues like improving U.S. 13 between Goldsboro and Greenville and bringing a regional agricultural center to Wayne County -- both of which are important for continued economic development.

"Being in the General Assembly is not an easy job, but you can do so much for a district with experience. It's knowing how things are done," Moore said. "You can bring so much to the table. You can be so much more help to the district than as a freshman."

In particular, he explained, through his experience on the legislative education oversight committee, he is prepared to hit the ground running on issues of testing and the need for more vocational training.

"(Education) is the key to our success. But we can't keep putting everybody in the same box," he said.

It is, he explained, a matter of creative and flexible thinking and being willing to consider such options as year-round schools, cutting back on the 25 days of testing students currently undergo, or looking at the imbalance in the amount of money devoted to four-year colleges versus public schools.

"If it's not working, we need to try other things," Moore said. "Maybe we need to be spending more money on the public school children in the lower grades."

Such logic, he continued, also should be applied to the state Department of Transportation -- another issue that he says voters are concerned about.

"Everywhere you go people are talking about gas," he said. "We have the highest gas tax in the southeast and that's because we haven't done a good job in DOT. Our roads can be much better."

But, he said, working to make those kinds of changes, to make the changes needed in eastern North Carolina, requires know-how and experience -- both qualities that he has.

"We're behind and we need help," Moore said. "If east of 95 was a state, we'd be the 51st state. We need roads; we need jobs. And it all goes back to education. For eastern North Carolina to be successful we need a good workforce.

"And I have the experience to carry that message forward."