Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue said Wednesday that if she is elected governor, she would strip most of the power from the state Board of Transportation.
Perdue, in an interview with The News & Observer's editorial board, said she would issue an executive order on inauguration day re-imagining the transportation board as a panel more focused on long-term planning. Currently the board approves contracts and projects in addition to setting long-term priorities.
“I want to take the money out of the board. I want to transform the way DOT does business,” she said.
N.C. governors have historically given board seats as rewards to big fundraisers. The board has become an issue in the race for governor.
This year, two board members who are also Perdue fundraisers have resigned from the board in the wake of scandals. Louis Sewell Jr. had steered road money to projects near commercial property he or his son owned. Thomas Betts Jr. pressured a city official to raise money after Betts helped the city secure road money.
On Wednesday, Perdue would not promise to ban fundraisers from the board, saying her proposals would make their influence moot.
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican nominee for governor, has said he would not appoint any of his fundraisers to the board.
McCrory said he would charge his board of transportation experts with developing a long-term transportation plan. He said in an interview Wednesday that Perdue has had a chance to reform the board.
“Where has she been for eight years? The best way to prove future actions is to look at their record,” McCrory said.