Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beverly Perdue predicted victory Monday during a visit to the backyard of her opponent, Republican Pat McCrory.
“Y'all, we're gonna win,” she told about 80 people at an Uptown Democratic Forum luncheon. “You can feel the momentum, you can feel the excitement.”
Polls suggest Perdue and McCrory, Charlotte's mayor, are locked in a close race.
Acknowledging Mecklenburg state Sens. Dan Clodfelter and Charlie Dannelly in the audience, the lieutenant governor said, “Get ready, get ready, there's a new sheriff coming to Dodge.”
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Perdue, who appeared relaxed in front of a supportive audience, also acknowledged that the troubled economy may limit the next governor's choices.
“I wish this campaign had been about education and health care … but it isn't,” she said. “This election is about one thing – the economy. It's the economy, stupid.”
Asked later by a reporter how she reconciled that with ads accusing McCrory of opposing stem-cell research and favoring out-of-state trash in North Carolina, Perdue said those are legitimate issues.
“From my perspective, the campaign has to be about showing differences in policy positions for leaders,” she said. “And I believe that I've said that all along that I'll be very forthright and willing to show the difference in the way I'll be a governor and the way the mayor of Charlotte will be a governor.”
She said “stem cells to me represent a real interest in moving forward on some basic cures.” She also said McCrory opposed a bill that restricted the placement of landfills in North Carolina. .
“Nobody could ever convince me that the way to build an economy in parts of rural North Carolina is by hauling in trash from out of state … That's a legitimate issue.”
McCrory has said he would have vetoed the solid waste bill because another provision in the bill it would have meant extra taxes on cities.
His campaign has said he supports some kinds of stem cell research. His top strategist has said McCrory would support a ban on embryonic stem cell research.