Dan Besse wants to be lieutenant governor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
It’s time for a fresh perspective in the lieutenant governor’s seat, says Dan Besse, a Democratic candidate from Winston-Salem. Judging from applause, those who gathered for a Thursday night meeting of the Rowan Democrats agree.
Candidates for local offices also attended the meeting, held at the Rowan County Administration Building.
Besse is one of four Democrats and four Republicans seeking the highest state office, after the governor.Besse, who serves on the Winston-Salem City Council, is, as his campaign YouTube video states, “running on his record.”
The short video shows the avid marathoner sprinting through a neighborhood with his leadership experience juxtaposed with the races he’s competed.
He shared his record on the environment, health care, education, energy and the economy with the group.
Besse says he is passionate about environmental issues because there won’t be a future if they aren’t addressed.He advocates improving the management of urban stormwater runoff and conserving natural areas and waterways, to name a few.
His interest began when he was a young man living in Hickory and he sought answers about a local hosiery company’s runoff into a local creek.
As a child, he had played in a creek near his home that was pretty clean. That creek emptied into a larger body of water that wasn’t so clean.
Every other week, the water turned a different color, he said รณ the same water where other children played.
Besse found out the color was coming from dye the hosiery company was using. The problem was eventually resolved, but it sparked Besse’s enthusiasm.
Besse has been campaigning for about a year to tell people about their rights to “good education, good jobs and a high quality health care system,” he said.
He is also pushing for smaller classes, better teacher benefits and the elimination of failing educational programs, “like that disastrous No Child Left Behind,” he said.
Besse talked about being inspired, not by standardized tests, but by quality teachers.
Besse hopes to make a difference with the “hope to draw public attention to the issues that count,” he said.
Besse said every child in this state should be covered by affordable healthcare in a “fiscally responsible way.”
With candidates getting their message to the masses via YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and the like, Besse said we are in an evolving era.He said it gets younger people involved in the political process and holds politicians accountable “for their facts and promises.”
Besse has worked mostly as an attorney for conservation groups. He’s also taught environmental law and policy at several North Carolina colleges and universities.
Three Democratic candidates for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners attended the even, including attorney Michael Phillips and retired educator Ralph Walton, who encouraged the group to stand behind their party.
Commission candidate Raymond Coltrain, a former superintendent of the Piedmont Research Station, was also on hand. Someone from his campaign briefly spoke about his experience and “no hidden agenda” policy.
A spokeswoman for Teresa Sue Bratton, who is running for U.S. Congress, 6th District, said the doctor knows first-hand about the struggle for affordable health care. Bratton was unable to attend.
Robin Anderson, who is running for commissioner of labor, also sent a representative. Anderson is a labor and employment attorney.
“She has the experience to hit the ground running and a great work ethic,” said an Anderson spokeswoman.
For more information about Dan Besse, visit his Web site at www.danbesse2008.org.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.