Elect 2012: A pair of Genes: McIntyre will face McLaurin for 25th NC Senate District seat
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Two Genes will face off this fall in the race for the 25th N.C. Senate District, which now includes part of Rowan County.
The men’s last names, which both begin with “Mc,” won’t be much help to clear up the confusion. Tuesday’s primary winners are Republican Gene McIntyre of New London and Democrat Gene McLaurin of Rockingham.
“Gene McIntyre and I saw each other during the campaign and talked about that,” McLaurin said. “That’s going to be an issue we will have to work through.”
McIntyre laughed about the coincidence and said he will make sure his supporters vote for the right Gene.
Both candidates plan to campaign on similar issues — education, jobs, economic development and vocational training.
“I’m going to hit education hard, and jobs,” said McIntyre, a retired educator. “I think education and jobs go hand-in-hand.”
North Carolina, where 66 percent of fourth-graders do not read proficiently, needs more technical and vocational training in high schools and community colleges, he said.
McLaurin plans to focus on workforce training as well this fall.
“We’ve got to help displaced workers who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs,” McLaurin said.
During campaign stops throughout the five counties in the 25th district, voters said they are ready for change, he said.
“Folks are tired of decisions being made behind closed doors in Raleigh,” McLaurin said. “We need to promote more openness and transparency in government.”
As president of Swink-Quality Oil Co. and mayor of Rockingham for 15 years, McLaurin said he’s learned to work with both Democrats and Republicans and can provide new direction and new ideas.
McIntyre, who has served on the Stanly County Board of Commissioners for 13 years, said he will press for lower taxes and additional regulatory reform in Raleigh to attract more businesses. “When you’ve got six to eight pages of regulations when one or two will do, there’s something wrong with that system,” he said.
In five counties, McIntyre beat Republican Jack Benoy 11,561 votes to 4,378. McLaurin beat Democrat Daniel Wilson 15,442 votes to 5,426.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.