Spaulding officially a candidate for North Carolina governor

Spaulding officially a candidate for North Carolina governor
December 17
00:00 2015
Above: Ken Spaulding


Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — Democratic candidate Ken Spaulding officially entered the North Carolina governor’s race Monday more than two years after he first announced his 2016 bid, promoting his economic record while criticizing primary rival Roy Cooper on education.

Spaulding, a former state legislator and transportation board member, submitted his candidate notice at the State Board of Elections.

The Durham lawyer announced his candidacy in August 2013, less than eight months into the term of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who is seeking re-election.

Spaulding told reporters he has a history of creating economic opportunity and thousands of jobs, later citing his involvement in real estate development, especially Treyburn Corporate Park and the Southpoint mall in Durham. Spaulding said that, if elected, he would promote job creation in rural areas, too.

“Now, if I’m able to help do that for the Research Triangle area, just think what I’ll be trying to do for all of North Carolina,” he said.

Spaulding also accused Cooper – the state’s attorney general – of aligning himself with McCrory because in court lawyers in Cooper’s office defended GOP laws ending teacher job protections and creating taxpayer-funded grants for children to attend private schools. The state Supreme Court upheld the grants. A teacher tenure lawsuit is pending.

The attorney general’s office is tasked with defending the state, but Cooper “had a choice to make whether he was going to defend … getting rid of teacher tenure and the private school vouchers,” Spaulding said. He pointed to Cooper’s decision last year not to keep defending North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban when a similar prohibition in Virginia was struck down.

A Cooper campaign spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Monday. Primary elections are March 15. McCrory also has a GOP challenger in former Rep. Robert Brawley of Iredell County. Time Warner Cable News and the League of Women Voters plan to hold a Democratic primary debate March 1. Spaulding on Monday called on Cooper to participate.

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