The N&Os editorial endorsements in legislative races focus on those involving Wake County. Earlier we explained our choices in Wake-based state Senate Districts 15 and 17. But under the new district alignment for this years races, District 18 also has a majority of residents in Wake. It is represented by incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Berger of Youngsville, in office since 2005.
Berger formerly represented District 7, covering Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties. But the Republican-devised redistricting plan put him in a district that includes Franklin and parts of Wake. Republican challenger Chad Barefoot hopes the new district lines will favor him.
Our endorsement goes to Berger, an attorney with experience as a public school teacher. He is a strong supporter of public education, where he worries about shortchanging students through funding cuts, and also of environmental protection and help for small business.
Barefoot describes himself as a director of business development. He served as chief policy advisor to House Majority Leader Paul Stam of Apex, a leader of the states social conservatives.
Barefoots platform is made of the same rickety lumber used by many GOP candidates. In his campaign materials, he flatly states: North Carolina families have lost confidence in our public school system. Another doozie: Government should encourage families, not attempt to replace them.
Republicans have indeed made a target of public school teachers, some of whom have criticized GOP cuts to education. Perhaps its the Republicans in whom families have lost confidence.
Barefoot and his supporters have run a negative campaign. But they have failed to make the case that his weary positions would be better suited to the people of this district than the more enlightened stands of Berger.