Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton jabbed at Republican Pat McCrory Tuesday morning in what McCrory called a “desperation” attack in the final two weeks of their gubernatorial campaign.
Both men spoke separately to a conference of the North Carolina League of Municipalities at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Both were planning to visit early voting sites in Charlotte and McCrory was scheduled to speak to a Charlotte Rotary Club luncheon.
The two spoke back-to-back but didn’t greet each other at the league forum.
Dalton outlined his jobs plan and touted his record on education. Then he attacked McCrory over taxes, oil drilling and what he called McCrory’s support for special interests.
As he has before, Dalton suggested that tax reform proposed by McCrory would hurt the middle-class by expanding the tax base. McCrory has denied that, though has yet to reveal specifics about his plan.
Dalton also criticized McCrory’s jobs plan, which he described as “all about fracking and off-shore oil.” McCrory has said more aggressive energy exploration would create N.C. jobs.
Dalton also accused the former Charlotte mayor of being beholden to special interests.
“He has protected special interests in the past. The Supreme Court says so,” Dalton said. He was referring to a 1998 decision by the state Supreme Court involving a Charlotte City Council vote that indirectly affected Duke Power Co., McCrory’s then-employer. A dissenting opinion took McCrory, then a council member, to task for not recusing himself on the vote.
“Mr. Dalton is just showing desperation in the final week because his message is not connecting (with voters),” McCrory told reporters later.
In his own remarks to the several hundred municipal leaders, McCrory touted his experience as mayor for 14 years.
He said mayors and council members know how to get things done.
“We need a mayor’s attitude in the governor’s office right now,” he said.