I call this budget "Common Ground Solutions" because it contains many areas of agreement. In Raleigh, partisan battles, power struggles and lawsuits might grab the headlines, but we have to work together where we can. To look beyond ourselves to see what's right for the state, regardless of who's in power.
That's what the people of North Carolina want us to do, and what common sense demands us to do. So let's get to work. Job recruitment, raising teacher pay, fighting the opioid crisis, and boosting our infrastructure: these are areas where we already agree more than we disagree. These tasks don't come with a party label for a reason. They are priorities we all share.
"We're facing the greatest threat to liberty in our lifetime," Brannon tweeted shortly after he filed at the State Board of Elections in Raleigh. "Now is not the time for go-along-to-get-along Republicans."
While Brannon's candidacy wasn't announced publicly before Monday, he's been criticizing Burr on his Facebook page. "Senator Richard Burr has repeatedly refused to take on President Obama and the Democrats in Washington, but boy does he love to undercut and smear constitutional conservative fighters like Senator Ted Cruz at every opportunity," he wrote last week.
Spaulding said, "I'm looking for North Carolinians to vote for me because I am the best qualified and capable candidate, who can help pull this state back together and who has a record of experience."
Spaulding just turned 71, and says he thinks voters want maturity and responsibility in a candidate. "They are looking for seasoned people," he said.
WALKER: Strongly Disagree
Q: Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which permitted our system of limited government?
WALKER: Strongly Agree
Q: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values?
WALKER: I believed that all men are born with a sin nature in need of forgiveness. I believe the Jesus lived a sinless life on earth, died and rose again and is the mediator between God the Father and man. I believe salvation is available for all men.
Question topic: Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which permitted our system of limited government.
Tillis: Strongly Agree.
Question topic: Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.
Tillis aides concede that Hagan has gotten a head start raising money and making her pitch to voters, but said voters would come to respect his life story. Tillis, they said, grew up in a trailer park and is a "self-made man."
"Only one candidate has been telling a story," said a Tillis strategist. "The Thom Tillis story has yet to be told."
Tillis's campaign, meanwhile, has called Hagan a "rubber stamp" for Obama's policies, chiding her for her vote supporting the president's health-care overhaul. The voters' negative feelings toward Obama, Tillis aides say, will help mobilize the Republican base. "North Carolinians are really not happy with the direction our country is going in," Keylin said.
So far, Haugh's campaign barely exists anywhere but on YouTube. But it is doing surprisingly well in a high-stakes Senate contest in which candidates and outside groups have already spent more than $15 million.
Four polls lately put his support somewhere between 8 and 11 percent--not enough to suggest a realistic possibility of winning, but conceivably enough to affect the outcome of the race. The same surveys show the margin between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and her GOP challenger, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, at six points or less.
Haugh was not impressed with his opponent's reasoning. "I have no respect, none, for the spoiler argument," Haugh said. "It is bogus on every level." Haugh believes it is "absolutely vital to have a Libertarian voice in every election possible, especially at the top of the ticket." He said he would be excited to debate Brannon if both men won their parties' nominations "because there are some stark differences" between them on the issues and their brand of libertarianism. Political science has disproven there is a spoiler effect, Haugh said.
The Republican is returning to the story of his political roots as he campaigns for the US Senate. "I've only been in office since 2007," he said after filing his candidacy papers last week. "I served for a small time in the town of Cornelius. I was PTA president 8 years ago."
The effort is designed to portray Tillis as the candidate who can deliver results and push back against his label as the establishment candidate. But it also highlights his start in state politics in 2006 when he ousted a conservative lawmaker in a GOP primary, 2-term Republican state Rep. John Rhodes. The Tillis-Rhodes race is seared into the minds of some conservative activists; the the leader of the Charlotte Tea Party, said Tillis' effort to beat Rhodes helped sow "a level of distrust among conservatives."
Tillis is one of Gov. Pat McCrory's closest allies and helped engineer majorities in the state House and Senate for the GOP in 2010. McCrory is the state's first Republican governor since 1993.
Democrats and others frustrated by the sharp turn to the right participated in a series of protests dubbed "Moral Mondays" throughout the General Assembly session. Ministers, teachers and other activists participated in the protests, which migrated to Charlotte and other cities.
But one thing I've learned, I learned during my fourteen years as a mayor, when you try to appease everyone, you satisfy no one. What motivates me every morning, when I'm so privileged to get up here in Raleigh as your governor, is the opportunity to be part of long term solutions.
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