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State treasurer candidate visits Rowan County

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
Bill Daughtridge, a candidate for state treasurer, made a campaign stump in Rowan County earlier this week, visiting with a handful of local business leaders at the Country Club of Salisbury.
A Republican businessman and resident of Rocky Mount, Daughtridge is locked in what is expected to be a close race with Democrat Janet Cowell. They’re seeking the seat that Richard Moore is vacating after eight years.
Daughtridge’s visit to Salisbury was sponsored by local residents Dyke Messinger, Phil Kirk, Jake Alexander and Tom Smith.
During his visit, Daughtridge echoed the lament of many candidates, saying that ó with the exception of only the highest of state offices ó the vast majority of residents have no knowledge of those whose names appear on the ballots.
“I’m trying to get people to know me, my stands on the issues,” Daughtridge said. “This is an extremely important election and the people need to make an informed decision.”
The Raleigh News & Observer has reported that neither Daughtridge or Cowell have the money to finance large television ad campaigns.
(Daughtridge said on his stop in Salisbury that Cowell has refused to debate him, though he’s made the offer on several occasions. Attempts to reach the Cowell camp for reply were unsuccessful.)
Daughtridge said most people don’t realize the responsibilities that are part of the job of state treasurer. The most important part of the job, he said, is securing and growing the pensions of almost 800,000 retired government employees and teachers.
Daughtridge said that in that aspect of the race, his experience is far superior to Cowell’s. He noted that he’s been a business owner and CEO for decades, responsible for companies that employ hundreds and have sales that total millions of dollars annually.
Daughtridge has also been active in the Boy Scouts (he earned his Eagle Scout award in 1969 and has been a leader in several capacities over the years), United Way and other nonprofits. He’s served three terms in the N.C. House and also served on the N.C. Economic Development Board. He was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also earned a master’s degree in business from the school.
Daughtridge has been endorsed by the News & Observer, the Charlotte Observer and the Winston-Salem Journal.
“The financial turmoil in the market is significant and we need someone knowledgeable to lead us through these trying economic times,” Daughtridge said. “It’s not just the stock market, but the credit market. The economy is making it hard on small businesses throughout the state.”
Daughtridge said it’s necessary to ensure that state funds are secure and well-diversified, and positioned to grow as the economy recovers.
He noted the state treasurer is responsible for a staff of 350 and heads the state bank as well as the state banking commission.
“The treasurer faces a variety of issues,” Daughtridge said. “He or she needs business experience. I have it. My opponent doesn’t.”
Daughtridge said he believes in making performance reports of all state funds available online so people can see how their investments are doing.
He said he is anti-union and pro-business. Cowell, Daughtridge said, takes the opposite approach to those issues.”Excessive unionization will hamper the long-term economic development that we must have to create secure, high-paying jobs for our people,” Daughtridge said.
Messinger, the owner of Salisbury’s Power Curbers and one of the sponsors of Daughtridge’s visit, said experience is the key to the race.
“It’s a very important race,” Messinger said. “It’s a critical time in our state’s financial history. His experience far outweighs that of his opponent.”

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