It was “pay back” for some legislators during the recent primaries. Democrat Rep. Jim Crawford, a 14-terms veteran, was defeated by Rep. Winkie Wilkins with whom he was double-bunked during the recent redistricting. Crawford was one of five Democrats who joined Republicans in the overriding of vetoes by Gov. Beverly Perdue. Rep. William Brisson, another of the five, barely won a shot at another term. The other three Democrats chose not to run for re-election.
Republican Senator Stan Bingham, considered a pro-business moderate of Denton, fell short of a majority with 40 percent of the vote and faces a runoff. Reps. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston, and Trudy Walend of Brevard will not return in 2013 nor will Rep. Dale Folwell who fell short in his race for GOP lieutenant governor. Voters in the 21 senatorial district rejected former Sen. Larry Shaw’s bid to replace Eric Mansfield.
But some old faces will be on the November ballot. Former House Speaker Richard Morgan is in a runoff for Insurance Commissioner and C. Robert Brawley of Iredell is likely to return to the House after an eight-year absence.
There was no sign of an anti-incumbent movement among voters. Many had not primary opponents and the leaders that did came through with huge majorities.
Republican leaders have vowed to keep the short session…well, short. But battle lines are being drawn over the budget and other issues. The April “surprise” was about $250 million in tax collections over projections. Appropriations chairs warned this—and more—will be needed to cover shortfalls in Medicaid expenses. Gov. Perdue again will send a budget that proposes a three-fourths cent sales tax to support education. Tea Party factions in the GOP can be expected to fight this proposal…vigorously.
Reps. Marilyn Avila of Wake and John Torbett of Gaston have pledged to help negotiate and exemption from UL certification requirements on equipment purchased by the Manufacturing Solutions Center and the Textile Technology Center. Textile Center Dean Joe Keith has revealed that as much as 10 percent has been added to the cost of equipment. Our efforts will center on an amendment to an appropriations bill.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
With tight revenues and political intensity, our campaign to preserve funds for our technology centers and their research and development services is going to require round-the-clock lobbying. You can contact your legislators to emphasize the value of the centers to the industry. And you can join the HTGAC. We need your support.