The state budget, jobs and taxes were big topics again at the second gubernatorial debate Tuesday night between Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Walter Dalton.
Both candidates weighed in on where they think state government can save some money. McCrory said, "I think there are about 300 committees in state government. Before we make appointments to over 300 committees in state government, we ought to first ask why we have 300 committees in state government and how much is it costing?" Dalton commented, "I think there are tremendous savings to be had with information technology, the use of the cloud and working on some privatization of that in combination with what we're doing in state government I think we can save hundreds of millions of dollars."
When it came to taxes, Dalton repeated his claim that McCrory would raise the sales tax. Dalton said, "He's taking that burden off of corporations and putting it on working families, middle class families, our senior citizens on fixed incomes." McCrory fired back, "We'll, Mr. Dalton keeps repeating what he's said in some very strongly negative ads against me and major media outlets have said these ads are inaccurate, just like the comments he just made."
There were some issues the two agreed on, such as wanting to cap the gas tax, and that new tolls on roads like I-95 are a bad idea. They also said that faith is a big part of their lives, and would be as governor. Dalton said, "God listens to all prayers and I'm happy for that. I'm glad he's not divisive at all. I get strength from my faith, family and will be with me every step of the way as governor. McCrory commented, "And I know because of my faith that the world does not revolve around us as individuals and that's what we all have to remember and I think faith is very important in how we treat others."
With the election just weeks away and early voting starting this week, polls show McCrory still with a double digit lead over Dalton.
Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Walter Dalton will go for round 2 Tuesday night for their second statewide debate at the University of North Carolina Television studios in Research Triangle Park. You can watch the debate on WITN Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Their first debate aired statewide from the same venue October 3rd.
A third statewide debate has been organized by North Carolina Wesleyan College, the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce and WRAL-TV 7 p.m. Oct. 24th on the college campus in Rocky Mount.
Libertarian candidate for governor Barbara Howe isn't participating in the debates. She says she should be included.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK. N.C. (AP) -- The campaign for North Carolina governor revved up as Democrat Walter Dalton went on the offensive against Republican Pat McCrory in their first televised debate this fall on issues of taxes and race.
The lieutenant governor accused McCrory on Wednesday night for being insensitive to black voters for running a commercial featuring an eastern North Carolina sheriff who made what some black leaders call insensitive remarks. Dalton called it a serious mistake, but McCrory said he was offended about a Dalton campaign video featuring black residents criticizing him.
McCrory and Dalton also went head to head on taxes and McCrory defended a mass transit plan he pushed while Charlotte mayor that let voters decide on raising taxes for light rail.
The candidates have two more TV debates this month.
The two top candidates for North Carolina governor square off Wednesday night in Raleigh and you can watch the debate live on WITN.
The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters is organizing the debate between between Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory.
WITN will cover the debate at 7:00 p.m. at the UNC-TV studios. We'll also have live reports at 5:00, 5:30 & 6:00 and a wrap-up at 11.