The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

September 28, 2013

Campaign season now runs year-round

Saturday, September 28, 2013 — RALEIGH – The world of full-time politics and campaigns has come to North Carolina. Gone are the days when politicians could take a breather from the campaign trail after they took the oath of office.

Now, in our 24-hour news cycle, hyper-partisan political environment elected officials and candidates have to be running for office constantly. The clearest example of this is our current governor, Rep. Pat McCrory and the slate of Democrats who may try to unseat him.

It is only Sept. 2013, a scant eight months after McCrory was sworn in as governor and more than three years away from the next gubernatorial election, but Democrats are already staking out campaigns to challenge him.

Attorney General Roy Cooper is the most high-profile Democrat said to be considering a challenge to McCrory in 2016. Cooper was a strong opponent of the elections overhaul signed into law by McCrory in August and has recently been more vocal with his opinion on other political issues.

Former Raleigh mayor Charles Meeker is another Democrat who has said he is considering the race. If he were to run and win the Democratic nomination, it would pit former mayors of the state’s two biggest cities against each other in the general election.

And two Democrats have already declared their candidacy, former Chapel Hill town councilor James Protzman and former state representative Kenneth Spaulding from Durham.

So why is there so much talk about this race three years before the election?

Well, in the world of modern politics you first need a lot of money to run statewide. And if you don’t already have a statewide network, it can take time to build one as you make your way across the state on the campaign trail. McCrory spent almost $11.2 million in 2012, so any Democrat who wants to pose a viable challenge is going to have to raise some serious money.

McCrory and his supporters are not resting on their laurels, either. Following some less than favorable poll numbers over the summer, McCrory is now appearing in an ad trumpeting his goals for the state. The ad is produced by the Renew North Carolina Foundation, an independent organization supporting the governor.

The ad is another symbol of the perpetual campaign as McCrory and his supporters work to get their message out through paid television ads so far removed from the next election.

The election of 2016 is a lifetime away in politics and no real analysis can be offered about anyone’s electoral chances that far off. But the voters of North Carolina are going to have to get used to never-ending campaigns it seems, especially as we cement our status as a presidential battleground moving forward.

In the meantime, hopefully voters will turn their attention to the actual campaigns being waged this year for municipal races across the state that often suffer from anemic voter turnout. After that, we can focus on what should be a high-profile, competitive race for the U.S. Senate in 2014. And once that’s over, we can start talking about the 2016 governor’s race in earnest.

Until then, voters just need to stay informed and engaged with what’s going on in state government. That way they can confidently cast a ballot for governor when the time finally comes.

Brent Laurenz is executive director of the N.C. Center for Voter Education, a Raleigh-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping citizens fully participate in democracy.

Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 12, 2014

  • Brent Laurenz If you want to vote in primary, you need to register to vote now

    RALEIGH – North Carolina voters will head to the polls on May 6 this year to cast ballots in important primary elections across the state.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Mooneyham Heeding the voter fraud call in N.C.

    RALEIGH – Legislators found the findings outrageous.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Roots

    I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 11, 2014

  • Is a paleo vegetarian diet possible?

    Research shows most people can follow a regimented eating plan for a short time. That's not the challenge. The challenge is finding a healthful eating plan you can follow day after day and achieve your long-term health goals. At this point, it doesn't appear that the paleo eating plan meets these objectives for most people.

    April 10, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 10, 2014

  • Hospice of Stanly County should be the one we support

    Regarding your recent article about Community Hospice relocating its offices from one location in Troy to another, let me point out a few things.

    April 10, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content