NCAE Endorsed Lt. Gov. Perdue

RALEIGH -- The North Carolina Association of Educators has endorsed Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue for governor in 2008.

A majority of the 70,000-member NCAE voted to support Purdue, a former public school teacher who's scheduled to formally announce her gubernatorial bid on Monday in her hometown of New Bern.

NCAE president Eddie Davis says Perdue has been the organization's partner in the effort to improve public education in North Carolina for years.

He says she was instrumental in raising state teacher pay from 43rd nationally to 21st while she was Senate budget chair.

Jay Reiff, campaign manager for State Treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Moore, criticized the NCAE's announcement. He says it was rigged by insiders who put their interests ahead of the organization's membership.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)