The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 26, 2014

GOP aims for Hagan’s U.S. Senate position

By Ritchie Starnes, News Editor

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 — Democrat explanations became Republican slogans at Saturday night’s Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.

N.C. Speaker of the House and soon-to-be candidate for U.S. Senate Thom Tillis seized the opportunity to use the words of President Barack Obama against U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC. When Obama’s promise that Americans could keep their personal doctor under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be false, Tillis decided to use it as a campaign slogan to defeat Hagan, who sided with Obama’s health care plan.

“Keep your doctor, change your senator,” Tillis said before the GOP crowd.

“The American people do not tolerate betrayal.”

Tillis called the congressional race the most important in this year’s election, adding that $100 million will be pumped into the respective campaign ads here in North Carolina.

As far as North Carolina, he said the Republican guided legislature has vaulted the state from 44th to 17th as the most taxed, leading to significant gains in the state’s unemployment rate.

He was not the only one slamming Hagan’s record. U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, spent less time talking about his re-election bid, instead hammering Hagan for her propensity to support whatever Obama offered.

“I can’t tell you how important it is to get rid of Kay Hagan,” Hudson said.

He said Hagan sides with the President 96 percent of the time, including a critical vote for the approval of the Affordable Care Act.

Hudson talked about how the Democrats’ Obamacare is destroying job growth and hurting families.

He referred to small businesses across the state that are seeing their health insurance premiums soar to unaffordable levels and that will kill jobs.

“Real people are suffering,” Hudson said.

“It’s the regulations and policies coming out of Washington.”

The Concord Republican also took a poke at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s explanation about the 2012 attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans whereby no one has been arrested.

“What difference does it make?” Hudson said.

“I’ll tell you what difference it makes. It means Americans are no longer safe in the world. The world sees us (U.S.) as a laughingstock. We’re in a world today that our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us.”

The GOP message at the annual dinner was that conservative policies will restore the country’s global status.

With the majority of Stanly County’s elected offices held by Republicans, N.C. House Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, said the time has come to spread that GOP influence to the state level. He reminded the audience that the General Assembly had been controlled by Democrats for 140 years until the last election.

“We’ve sat in the back in Raleigh for too long,” Burr said.

“Some have gotten too comfortable with sitting in the back.”

With the exception of two Democrat candidates vying for sheriff, all of the local office filings for Stanly County elected offices as of Monday belonged to Republicans.

Local Democrat Nalin Mehta has filed to run for Burr’s seat. Republican County Commissioner Peter Asciutto will face Burr in the May primary.

The only other Democrat filing is incumbent N.C. Senator Gene McLaurin, D-Richmond. Republican Tom McInnis, who attended the dinner, has filed to run against him for the District 25 seat.

Hudson endorsed McInnis at the dinner, jokingly referring to him as the only Republican in Richmond County.

To submit story ideas, contact Ritchie Starnes at (704) 982-2121 ext. 28 or email ritchie@stanlynewspress. com.