Gubernatorial candidates campaign in Wilmington - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Gubernatorial candidates campaign in Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Before the two men campaigning to be North Carolina's next governor could mix words at a debate Wednesday night, they stopped in Wilmington to make an impression they hope will last until November.

Former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory and Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton spoke to a room packed with hundreds of people at a power breakfast in the Wilmington Convention Center. The Wilmington Business Journal hosted the event that provided each candidate with 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with the audience.

The forum came just a day after a recent poll by WRAL that shows McCrory's lead over Dalton has increased. The former mayor said he's pleased with the results, but he's not changing his campaign.

"We think our positive message is resonating across the state," he said. "But I don't trust the polls, so we're going to work until the very end."

Dalton followed his Q & A at the convention center by unveiling his detailed education plan at Cape Fear Community College. The poll's report of a loss in numbers does not affect the Lieutenant Governor.

"When people start doing the scratch and sniff on both candidates, we'll come out smelling like a rose because we're the ones that have a real plan to bring people back to work," said Dalton.

That plan includes a focus on support for schools, according to his recently released education outline. It includes restoring money to K – 12 institutions and early education programs, as well.

"Even many conservative bodies have said that (early education) may be the most important dollar we spend in education," he said.

McCrory agreed that education is a priority for North Carolina to grow jobs, but the idea is nothing new to him.

"I presented my education plan long ago in the campaign because I'm passionate about education," McCrory said.

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