Etheridge trying for 11th hour surge

Former Congressman Bob Etheridge (Phil Thalheimer)

April 30, 2012 10:16:19 AM PDT
With the state primary election just over a week away, the one-time front runner in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor is trying for an 11th hour surge.

Former Congressman Bob Etheridge trotted out some of the state's top Democrats Monday morning who said they believe Etheridge is the only Democrat who can beat Republican Pat McCrory in November.

With the state capitol over his shoulder, Etheridge said the decision on who will be the next to occupy the governor's office is very important.

"This may be the most important election in our lifetime," he said. "It will determine the direction of North Carolina for decades to come."

Four current and former members of Congress joined Raleigh's former mayor and North Carolina Senator Dan Blue Monday in urging voters to pick Etheridge.

"Voters should look at the candidates and compare their qualifications and their ability to compete against a well funded Republican political machine," Congressman G.K. Butterfield said.

"Bob resonates with a lot of the voters that McCrory has spent the last four years trying to cultivate and mislead into thinking he would be the best candidate," Blue said.

Democrats lost control of the both the state House and Senate in the last election. They now face possibly losing control of the Executive Branch.

"We have seen what can happen to our state under changes that have occurred in the General Assembly," former Congressman Tim Valentine said. "See that that doesn't happen at the top of our political hierarchy."

Polls released in the last week show Etheridge has slipped from the number one spot to second place among those who plan to vote in the Democratic primary.

Despite the numbers remaining close, Etheridge said the only poll that counts is a week from Tuesday.

In the meantime, McCrory is also displaying a high profile supporters -- former Florida governor Jeb Bush joined McCrory Monday in Raleigh during a fundraiser.

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