WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Less than a week before North Carolina’s primary election day, Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) is making a media push in her campaign for the republican gubernatorial nomination. Grange’s attitude is upbeat, despite recent polls showing her primary opponent well ahead of the legislator from Wilmington.
“I think that I have resonated a lot more than the polls show,” Grange said during an interview Wednesday in the WECT Digital Studio. “I've been all over the state and I've met with a lot of voters. I've gotten very good traction and very good response. I've been to many, many places where people don't even know who my opponent is.”
Her opponent, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, has held his current office for seven years. Many believed Forest would run for governor after his election in 2012. Being on two statewide ballots may bring him an edge in name recognition. Forest has a distinct advantage in funding, having raised more than $4.4 million as of January 31, 2020, compared to $159,539 for Grange.
“I knew it was going to be an uphill battle because I am running against someone who has been running for governor for seven years,” Grange said. “After all, what else does the lieutenant governor have to do in North Carolina except run for governor? I think I'm more electable than he is. There's some issues that he's going to hear about every day, and I think it's going to potentially bring down a lot of republicans up and down the ballot.”
Grange, a West Point graduate who went to high school in Fayetteville, has served 2.5 terms in the state House of Representatives. Grange and her husband David settled in Wilmington in 2009, and she filed to run for the District 20 House seat in 2016, representing part of New Hanover County. When incumbent Rick Catlin stepped down ahead of the General Election, Grange was running unopposed and was appointed to fill the office. She won re-election in both 2016 and 2018.
“I think it’s important that we replace the incumbent Governor Cooper,” Grange said. “We need a governor who represents all North Carolinians, not just their particular party or special interest groups that support them. I think having a competitive, electable candidate on the republican side is important so that we can do that.”