North Carolina's Constitution requires voters to fill critical executive branch offices on the Council of State rather than let the governor do it. One of the most influential is the office of state treasurer.
The person who fills that role acts as the chief investment officer for all retirement and pension funds and is responsible for their integrity. He or she acts as the state's banker, overseeing the disbursement of funds and chairing the commission that decides how much debt local governments can amass. The job requires a high level of expertise and the strictest ethics. The office should not be political.
There are two first-rate candidates running to succeed State Treasurer Richard Moore, who has run the office well for eight years: state Sen. Janet Cowell of Raleigh, a Democrat, and state Rep. Bill Daughtridge of Rocky Mount, a Republican. Cowell has considerable financial experience, having worked in Europe and Asia as well as this country. She is a former member of the Raleigh City Council and sponsored good legislation in the General Assembly to promote recycling of electronic components and to require more efficient government buildings. She wants to raise pay at the treasurer's office to retain competent money managers for pension funds. She wants to develop an adequate capital plan for the state, spend more time with legislators to maximize use of taxpayers' money and reevaluate the state's spending decisions.
Daughtridge is a businessman who has been active in his community with the Boy Scouts, United Way, Rocky Mount Community Foundation and other nonprofit pursuits. In his three House terms he has worked to expand economic development opportunities and create jobs. He has served on the N.C. Economic Development Board. His work ethic, judgment in financial management and level-headed approach have won him admirers on both sides of the aisle in the House, and he makes a better case to be the next treasurer. We recommend Bill Daughtridge for state treasurer.