Theres no reason to doubt Gov. Beverly Perdues choice among the two men running to succeed her when the single term shes opted to serve comes to an end in January.
That would be her fellow Democrat, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (although Dalton is an independent official, not a member of Perdues administration). Republican Pat McCrory? Perdue beat him four years ago and so far as weve noticed theyve not grown to be pals.
But the governor has some advice for the two contenders that, even if theres a partisan subtext, should be taken to heart.
It has to do with the importance of making sure that investment in North Carolinas public works roads, bridges, airports, water systems and so forth keeps pace with steady population growth. The same could be said about schools and facilities for higher education. The state simply cannot allow itself to slip too far behind, no matter the recession-related strains its had to endure.
As it happens, slippage might be more of a worry with Republicans in charge in the capital, given their aversion to anything resembling a tax increase. In boom times, revenue will grow of its own accord. But when the economy slumps, hard calls must be made about keeping taxes at adequate levels.
Perdue shared her thoughts at a Washington confab for governors that was focused on states infrastructure challenges.
All the great things one says during a campaign and all the promises and the no-new-taxes pledges people make, and all the I can fix it with a magic wand just does not really happen when youre governor, was how she put it, as reported in The N&Os Under the Dome.
She said the governor has to make tough decisions about investing in the states future and you cant stick your finger in the wind and decide which way the public is going.
Its sage advice from someone who has backed unpopular tax increases to mitigate cuts in education spending and other key services. And if McCrory thinks he detects some veiled criticism at him or his fellow Republicans, if the shoe fits let him wear it.