Gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton tours Salisbury
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, a Democratic candidate for governor, toured Williams Companies on Monday during a visit to Rowan County.
In an interview with the Post, he said the local business shows how global thinking and innovation can help create jobs.
Dalton said the state needs to recruit businesses, retrain its workforce and refocus on the future.
“I’ve shown those leadership skills that can help us transition to 21st-century jobs, but I need more time on task,” Dalton said. “I need to be governor to move things forward.”
Williams Companies has added 15 jobs in the past year, according to owner Richard Williams, because it exports products and brings money back into the state and local economy.
Williams invited Dalton to take a look at the Salisbury plant while he was in the area. Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson also came along on the tour.
“It was intriguing, because he is exporting goods to other countries, and he has engaged this global economy,” Dalton said. “A lot of what we saw out there are goods that would often times end up in the landfill, but they’re recycling them and putting them to good use in third-world countries.”
The business sends out building products, housing products like windows and doors, medical textiles like hospital patient gowns, clothing, fashion accessories, toys and food.
It also runs a trucking company to move these goods, which are often bought from businesses with leftover products.
Dalton’s visit Monday was “very positive,” Williams said.
“I think he will be able to help us in commerce, whether it’s big companies like Freightliner or small companies like mine here,” he said.
Woodson said it’s a good thing when anyone from Raleigh comes to town.
“I’m glad the lieutenant governor visited Salisbury,” Woodson said. “He’s spurring them on and trying to help in exports.”
Before he was elected as lieutenant governor in 2008, Dalton served six times on the state Senate.
Gov. Bev Perdue has decided not to run for re-election this year, and Dalton is running to take her place.
“I think I’m the one candidate that understands that we need creativity and innovation in order to transition this economy… and to create jobs for the future,” Dalton said. “I have a record of working on those issues.”
Investing in education is also a top priority, he said. Dalton once led the state Senate’s education committee.
“I was very involved in establishing the network of early colleges we have in North Carolina today, and they’ve been very successful,” he said.
A total of 13 candidates are running for governor.
In the Democratic primary, Dalton will face former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, N.C. Rep. Bill Faison of Efland, Gary Dunn of Matthews, retired state auditor Gardenia Henley of Winston-Salem and physician Bruce Blackmon of Buies Creek.
Republican contenders include former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, Jim Harney of Fayetteville, Scott Jones of Greensboro, businessman Jim Mahan of Denver, Charles Kenneth Moss of Randleman and former Superior Court judge Paul Wright of Dudley.
Oxford resident Barbara Howe, chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, is also running for governor.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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