Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton said the state superintendent of public instruction should be appointed by the governor rather than elected by the voters.
Thats a change in my position, Dalton told a meeting of editors and reporters of The News and Observer on Monday. I have generally respected the vote of the people.
But Dalton said he has seen so much divided leadership on education that he thinks it would be better for the state for the position to become appointed. In doing so, Dalton follows the lead of numerous studies and commissions that have said the current system is too divided between the governor, the superintendent and the State Board of Education.
In future years, down the road, the [state] Constitution should be changed, he said.
Dalton, who is lieutenant governor, also said he is inclined to support legislative proposals to open the material in government personnel files to the public to disclose reasons for a persons termination, suspension, transfer or demotion.
But he does not think a public employees performance evaluation or notes to the file by the supervisor should be public record.
Dalton also expressed some skepticism about the use of toll roads.
He said if toll roads are going to be used, it is much easier to sell them to the public as a way to finance construction of new roads.
Dalton said improvements to Interstate 95 should be made through tolls, only as a last resort, and only if a break is given to those who use the road every day, and alternate non-toll routes are available.
Republican Mitt Romney is returning to campaign in North Carolina this week.
GOP officials said Monday that Romney will visit Asheville on Thursday. The location is an unlikely stop the rural western part of the state and a minor media market for the presidential candidate. The Asheville Citizen-Times first reported the visit.
Other than a private fundraiser in Raleigh, Romney has yet to campaign east of High Point. His two-stop bus tour in August with newly minted vice presidential pick Paul Ryan hit the Charlotte and Greensboro metro areas.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Asheville and Charlotte last week.
The day after Romney leaves, House Speaker John Boehner will be in Raleigh to stump for him.
The Ohio Republican is scheduled to speak at 10:15 a.m. at GOP headquarters on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Later Friday afternoon, Boehner will be in Charlotte.
As the leader of House Republicans, Boehner has worked closely with Romneys running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee.
Dalton pulling Charlotte TV ads
Walter Dalton is pulling his TV ads from the Charlotte market starting this week.
The Democrat initially bought commercial time in rival Pat McCrorys hometown but decided to cut his $200,000 TV buy for the next two weeks, according to media tracking data from Friday.
Democrats have been reticent to spend big money on TV in the Charlotte market, the states largest, this campaign season. But this week a liberal group funded by the Democratic Governors Association began airing its ads against McCrory in the Queen City.
Dalton is the holdout. His campaign is airing radio commercials in the area that question McCrorys ethics and public safety credentials, but the candidate isnt scheduled to run TV ads until Oct. 22, media buyers report.
Daltons campaign didnt respond to a request for comment.
Republicans are pulling some of their TV time from North Carolina, confident in McCrorys double-digit poll lead.
Judicial candidates at forum
The often-overlooked, but nonetheless important, judicial races on the November ballot will get a vetting Wednesday in Raleigh.
The Junior League of Raleigh will host a judicial panel featuring 17 candidates, including state Supreme Court contenders Paul Newby and Sam Ervin IV. The candidates for the N.C. Court of Appeals and a number of Wake County judgeships also are scheduled to attend.
The 7 p.m. event will be held at the leagues headquarters at 711 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh.
Staff writers Rob Christensen and John Frank
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