Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton rallied local supporters last week during a visit to Forsyth County Democratic Headquarters.
The Democratic nominee for governor has been crisscrossing the state to drum up support. Most polls show that he trails Republican nominee Pat McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte, who has tried to link Dalton with embattled Gov. Bev Perdue, who decided not to seek a second term.
Dalton, who served six terms in the state senate before his election as lieutenant governor in 2008, told those gathered in the newly painted headquarters on Burke Street that his campaign is starting to make inroads.
“We feel very good. There are three or four major polls that show the race within two points,” Dalton stated. “…We feel the momentum coming our way.”
He also said that education must be a top priority for the state. “The whole issue today is jobs, but education ties into that,” he said. “…I think education is the power for the economy, now and in the future.” Jamal Fox, president of the Young Democrats of Guilford County, made the trip from Greensboro to meet the gubernatorial hopeful. Like many of those present, Fox had two things on his mind: jobs and education.
“It sounds like Walter Dalton understands exactly the problems we have in this state, and it’s good to see a man who can stand on his values,” said the 24 year-old N.C. A&T alumnus. “…Right now, with the type of economy that we have, we need jobs and he seems like he has a plan to get us … in a better position.”
Jerry Hanes, a Johnson Controls retiree and lifelong Democrat, came out because he said he felt it was important to show support for his party. “I wanted to come out and hear some of the issues that Walter Dalton was trying to address,” said Hanes, a visual artist who operates out of a studio on Liberty Street. “I wish more people could’ve come out to hear him because this is an important time for all of us Democrats to come out and support each other.”
City Council Member Dan Besse helped spread the word about Dalton’s visit. Though the two were adversaries in the lieutenant governor race, Besse said he has come to highly respect Dalton and considers him a worthy candidate.
“I first met him when I was running against him in 2008. I was prepared to be polite, but not expecting to be impressed, but I was,” Besse said. “He is genuinely concerned about the future of the people of this state. He is passionately committed to making sure a good education is available to everybody.”
Others on hand included State Rep. Earline Parmon, who is running for the N.C. Senate; Board of Education Member Elisabeth Motsinger, the Democrat running against Rep. Virginia Foxx for the U.S. House Fifth District seat; City Council Member Molly Leight; and N.C. House hopeful Ed Hanes.