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Gone are the days when North Carolina's treasurer would fill time overseeing municipal finances and the pensions of government retirees.

Democrat Janet Cowell and Republican Bill Daughtridge describe big plans for the office.

The treasurer is the state's top financial official, overseeing a roughly $70billion pension fund and payments to retirees. The treasurer helps oversee state and local debt, manages an unclaimed property fund and regulates state-chartered banks.

Daughtridge points to his leadership of a family-owned business empire based in Rocky Mount. He says the treasurer should push for more spending on infrastructure and a more attractive business climate.

Cowell says the job fits the skills she has developed working in businesses in Asia, New York and North Carolina. She wants to grow the pension fund, among the largest in the country.

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