EDITORIAL: For State Senate: Republican Blake
In this, the first of several endorsement editorials over the next two weeks, The Pilot recommends the re-election of state Sen. Harris Blake.
Republican Blake has his roots deep in the business and political life of Moore County and has represented the county in the N.C. Senate for two two-year terms.
Though his positions are sometimes a little too far on the reactionary side for some of his constituents, he is a plainspoken man of conscience and honesty who has served with diligence as the senator for the District 22 seat, which includes Moore and Harnett counties.
Blake's Democratic opponent, Dr. Abraham Oudeh of Lillington, seems intelligent, hard-working and energetic, and perhaps he would make a good legislator. At the risk of seeming provincial, though, readers of The Pilot may well paraphrase a Shakespearean line by asking: What's Moore County to him? -- Or he to Moore County?
It does speak well of Oudeh, a Palestinian Christian by birth, that has done so well for himself so well by building up a thriving medical clinic that attracts patients -- kidney patients in particular -- from far and wide. A U.S. citizen for 40 years, he clearly has a firsthand understanding of the American dream and served the town of Dunn as mayor .
But his campaign so far has been heavily dominated by a tiresome dispute between two Harnett County hospitals, something about which Moore Countians -- with the possible exception of executives at our home-grown FirstHealth of the Carolinas -- care little. Furthermore, his comments in his endorsement interview with The Pilot were so heavily medicine-related that you get the idea he would spend as much time in Raleigh looking after medical concerns as matter of deep importance to constituents on our side of the county line.
Pinehurst businessman Blake, too, is a self-made man with an ingrained respect for the entrepreneurial system. He has been active in the civic life of Moore County for many years. If re-elected, he pledges to continue to keep a close and conservative eye on state spending. He is very critical of the way he thinks the General Assembly blew a big surplus during the past session and vows to fight for more fiscal restraint.
Blake has some good ideas. One is to invest a certain amount of lottery receipts into a long-range account producing interest for future projects. Another is to pair community colleges and universities with businesses and communities to attract positive economic growth. We urge the voters to return him to office so he'll have a chance to pursue those and other concepts actively.
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