Marshall Presses Senate Bid
One 2010 U.S. Senate candidate got an early start on her campaign Monday in Moore County.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a Democrat vying for the opportunity to face incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr in next November's election, spoke at a small "meet and greet" gathering at the the law offices of Crockett, Oldham, Pope and Donadio in Southern Pines.
Local attorney James Van Camp introduced Marshall to the group.
"She's uniquely qualified," he said. "A lady who's served our state since 1997 as secretary of state, who in the last election got more votes than anyone else on the ticket, or who was running. A lady I know to be the most honorable, efficient, effective secretary of state of this great state. ... She's going to have a tough time. It will be a tough year next year, but knowing her as I do, she will persevere."
Marshall will first have to win May's Democratic primary. So far, she is one of three candidates to declare for the primary, along with former state Sen. Cal Cunningham and Durham attorney Ken Lewis.
Early polls suggest Burr has as much as a 10-point lead over his Democratic challengers.
Marshall said she decided to get into the race because even though Americans voted for change in 2008, it really hasn't happened yet.
She cited the current health-care debate as an example, contending that whoever has "the loudest megaphone" is driving the discussion.
"The voice of people, the voice of real people that make up the heart of this country and the heart of North Carolina is not being expressed there," she said, "and that's why I am running."
Marshall said she believes she is the most qualified candidate in the race, and has the experience and the track record necessary for success. She pointed to her transformation of the secretary of state's office into a transparent and efficient entity as evidence.
A teacher and attorney by trade, Marshall also served in the North Carolina Senate. She said she has built a reputation as a problem-solver, one who's not afraid of a challenge.
"I know that when things are not right, and if somebody doesn't call a halt to it, it's going to get worse," she said. "I don't know a whole lot about a whole lot of things, but my common sense tells me that that's the kind of stuff that happens."
Marshall is confident her support networks will show up at the polls.
As for specific issues, Marshall believes that the country will have a health-care bill by the new year.
"If we don't do something as a nation about it now, as it's bankrupting families that have issues," she said, "it's going to bankrupt us a country. So we've got to have greater access. It's got to be more affordable with the cost-efficiencies, and we have to have oversight to make sure folks are kept honest in the process."
She favors working together with our allies abroad, rather than "creating enemies," and working to get the United States off its dependence on foreign oil. She said she remains concerned as a financial administrator about some of the financial activities in the country. She added job creation remains the top priority.
"We bailed out Wall Street, and Main Street got nothing," she said. "A jobless recovery is not a recovery at all."
She criticized the Bush administration's "hands-off attitude" toward financial regulation and said Burr voted with the Bush administration some 90 percent of the time.
She thinks states can handle certain problems on their own because federal regulators have "fallen asleep at the wheel."
Marshall said one of her greatest assets is her ability to listen.
"I'm in contact with people," she said. "I understand their hopes and their frustrations and their aspirations. And I think that's the voice that's not being heard in Washington today."
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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