Durham attorney Spaulding planning to run for NC governor in 201 - WRBL

Durham attorney Spaulding planning to run for NC governor in 2016

Posted: Updated:
Ken Spaulding, a former state House member, said he's getting in the race now because voters tell him they want a reasonable alternative to the Republicans' "extremist positions and actions." Ken Spaulding, a former state House member, said he's getting in the race now because voters tell him they want a reasonable alternative to the Republicans' "extremist positions and actions."
RALEIGH, N.C. -

An attorney and member of a prominent Durham political family said Monday he's planning to run for North Carolina governor in 2016, unhappy with the direction of the state under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-led legislature, particularly on education.

Ken Spaulding, a former state House member, congressional candidate and Board of Transportation member, said he's getting in the race now because taxpayers and voters tell him they want a reasonable alternative to the Republicans' "extremist positions and actions" this year.

In a statement, he focused squarely on North Carolina's election overhaul law and per-pupil reductions in state funds for the public schools, including no pay raises again for teachers. He said McCrory, portrayed as a moderate on the way to victory last fall, has failed to rein in an over-the-top General Assembly.

"North Carolina can do much better," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I think the actions that have been taken negatively impact our economy, negatively impact our business climate."

Spaulding, 68, is the latest Democrat getting an early start or considering one to become the next chief executive although the race is more than three years away. The Democratic primary, 33 months from now, could require millions of campaign dollars to march to victory.

"It's a long, long way away and a lot of work," he said.

James Protzman of Chapel Hill, a business consultant and contributor the "Blue NC" blog, already has filed paperwork with the State Board of Elections in May creating a gubernatorial campaign committee.

"Our General Assembly is out of control. Our schools and infrastructure are falling apart. And our governor is missing in action," Protzman's website says. "I may not be perfect, but I'll tell you one thing. I could do better with my eyes closed. And you probably could, too."

Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has passed on gubernatorial bids before, appears to be giving it more thought this year and listening to allies.

"I am very concerned about the direction of our state," Cooper told News 14 Carolina last week. "It's certainly too early to talk about any kind of announcement or talk about that type of election that's way down the line but I'm certainly going to keep working and do what I can to move North Carolina in the right direction."

Spaulding said if Cooper ran he would look forward to a "very spirited primary" when considering Cooper's record.

Spaulding served in the legislature from 1978 to 1984 and lost a close U.S. House Democratic primary to incumbent Tim Valentine in 1984. He was a leader of a key Durham-area political action group and a Board of Transportation member during Gov. Mike Easley's administration.

Spaulding talked Monday about his economic development experience as a private-sector attorney helping get the Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham built and promoting growth while on the transportation board through highway projects.

If he had been governor this year, Spaulding said, he would have kept tax rates the same — rather than passing a tax overhaul package that cut rates — to ensure more immediate revenue for education. Republicans who wrote the tax law changes and McCrory argue the lower rates will spur economic growth, which will in turn boost revenues. They also point out overall public school spending in the state budget increased compared to last year.

He considered his recent political distance from Raleigh a plus, saying politicians can lose touch with the average taxpayer. Spaulding said he didn't begin his campaign with great fanfare because "so many North Carolinians feel alone" in a period of uncertainty.

"The average taxpayer and voter just feels alone when it comes to whether the elected officials are looking out for our interest — and that's how I feel," he added.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping

    Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:57:33 GMT
    The U.S. Department of Justice said Kevin Melton has been charged with conspiring to kidnap in relation to the abduction of Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest homeThe U.S. Department of Justice said Kevin Melton has been charged with conspiring to kidnap in relation to the abduction of Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest home
    Nine people have been indicted in connection with the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
    Nine people have been indicted in connection with the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
  • High school senior kicked out of prom for wearing pants

    High school senior kicked out of prom for wearing pants

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:27:58 GMT
    According to a senior at Cherryville High School, a pair of her red skinny jeans got her kicked out of her Senior Prom and has started a bit of a controversy at the school since. "In a way it's kind of
    According to a senior at Cherryville High School, a pair of her red skinny jeans got her kicked out of her Senior Prom and has started a bit of a controversy at the school since.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.