Political notebook: Debates scheduled across NC for lesser-known races

Published 12:05 am Saturday, September 10, 2016

By Josh Bergeron


Candidates for down-ballot races will get their time to shine this month during three debate events scheduled at sites across North Carolina.

The specific races included in the down-ballot debates are lieutenant governor, attorney general and state treasurer. All three debates will be held at different sites and on different dates. The dates are hosted by the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership.

Candidates for lieutenant governor, Linda Coleman and Dan Forest, will debate in Wilson on Sept. 13. Candidates for attorney general, Buck Newton and Josh Stein, will debate in Asheboro on Sept 20. Candidates for state treasurer will debate at the Statesville Civic Center on Sept. 27. All three debates start at 7 p.m.

“In this busy election year, featuring races for president and U.S. Senate, the staff and board of the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership want to ensure that North Carolinians are familiar with the candidates and issues to be found in critical statewide races,” said NCIOPL Board Chair  Nelle Hotchkiss in a news release. “We also want to ensure that North Carolina’s smaller cities and towns are brought into the conversation and their issues and concerns are addressed.”

Each down-ballot debate will air on the night they occur. Encore broadcasts will air at 9 p.m. on UNC-TV one day after each event.

Burr names Rowan County resident to new campaign team

Burr’s campaign this week named Carolina Color CEO Matt Barr to his “Manufacturers for Burr” leadership team.

In a news release, Burr’s campaign said the leadership team aims to highlight Burr’s work to promote manufacturing. Six people were named to Burr’s team. Barr was the only one from Rowan County.

Barr lives in Salisbury and joined Carolina Color in 1999. He became the company’s chairman and CEO in 2011.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the Board of Directors at Novant Health Foundation-Rowan Medical Center.

Barr has also been a frequent donor to various Republican political campaigns.

Cooper holds lead in gubernatorial race

If it wasn’t clear before, it is now — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Cooper is beating incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory.

Five polls, all conducted in August and September, show Cooper with a lead over McCrory in the state’s gubernatorial race. The latest poll comes from Quinnipiac University. It finds Cooper with a seven-point lead.

Overall, the latest poll finds Cooper with a 51-44 percent lead among likely voters. Other findings include a 52-43 percent lead for Cooper among independent voters and large leads for each candidate among voters in their respective parties.

Unlike McCrory, the same poll found incumbent Sen. Richard Burr with a 49-43 percent lead over his Democratic Party challenger Deborah Ross.

A news release from Quinnipiac University attributes Burr’s lead to a stronger allegiance with “the party faithful and a greater appeal to independent voters.”

The poll surveyed 751 likely voters from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7. It includes a 3.5 percent margin of error.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.