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Salisbury attorney leads GOP candidates for governor in 2008

Staff report

Salisbury attorney Bill Graham led potential Republican candidates for the 2008 gubernatorial race in a recent telephone poll conducted by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling.

In the poll of 691 likely Republican primary voters, 24 percent said they would vote for Graham if the primary were held today. Of others mentioned in the poll, 13 percent would vote for former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr; 10 percent for N.C. Sen. Robert Pittenger; and 9 percent for N.C. Sen. Fred Smith.

Most respondents, 44 percent, said they would vote for “somebody else.”

Poll results showed Graham placing first or second in every region statewide, while Charlotte native Pittenger came in first in the Charlotte area and last in every other region and Smith, of Johnston County, tied Graham in the Triangle with 23 percent of the response.

Graham made himself known statewide last year with advertisements opposing a gasoline tax increase and is regarded as a likely candidate for governor, though he hasn’t formally announced he will run.

Add another well-known Republican to the mix, however, and Graham’s support erodes.

In a poll conducted for the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, 23 percent of respondents said they would vote for U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick in a Republican primary, while only 8 percent chose Graham.

Myrick, a Republican from Charlotte, has said she will not run for governor.

In the Civitas poll, 45 percent of respondents said they weren’t sure who would get their votes.

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