Elect 2012: Gurley focusing more on grassroots efforts, meetings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2012

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — In the runoff race for lieutenant governor, Tony Gurley says his strategy has changed since the first primary.
He said he’s spending less money on TV and radio ads and more time on grassroots efforts, direct phone calls and events like Tuesday’s meeting.
“Turnout is expected to be very low, so this is more of a campaign to reach individual voters and make sure they go to the polls,” Gurley said.
Gurley, a Wake County Commissioner and pharmacist, visited Salisbury Tuesday to speak to the Rowan County Tea Party Patriots. Before that meeting, he stopped by the Salisbury Post to talk about his campaign.
He’s running against fellow Republican Dan Forest, a Raleigh architect, in the primary runoff on June 17.
“We’re both very conservative,” Gurley said. “But I’m asking people to look at my record of 10 years on the Board of Commissioners to see that I am conservative not just in rhetoric, but in actions.”
He pointed out that Wake County’ taxes are significantly lower than those in Mecklenburg, Guilford and Durham counties. The county’s budget also has declined over the past four years.
“People say they want smaller government, lower taxes, more personal responsibility and accountability,” Gurley said. “We’re doing more with less money now than we had four years ago, and we don’t raise taxes to make up for sales tax reductions.”
The county recently implemented a program called “Wake Watch” that makes the county’s entire budget available online.
“Every citizen can see every category of spending, every check, who the check goes to and what we’re buying with that amount of money,” he said. “It’s updated every month, so the citizens can see whether their elected officials are living up to the promises they made, month to month.”
The city of Winston-Salem has now adopted a similar program, Gurley said, and he’d like to see the state of North Carolina do the same.
Gurley and Forest are running for the chance to compete against Democrat Linda Coleman in the general election on Nov. 6. Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton’s seat is open because he is running for governor this year.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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