Two underdog candidates in major primary races got a bit of a boost Tuesday when the Winston-Salem Journal announced its endorsements of Ken Spaulding and Chris Rey.
It snubbed the Democratic Party favorites in the two biggest primary races, Roy Cooper and Deborah Ross, in favor of long-shot minority challengers.
Rey, the mayor of Spring Lake, is running for U.S. Senate against several other Democrats. Ross, a former state representative, is the best-known candidate in the primary, and the paper praised her as “a hard and effective worker.” But Rey’s rags-to-riches story, and the results he has achieved in leading his small suburb of Fayetteville, won over the paper’s editors.
On the Republican side, the paper endorsed incumbent Richard Burr. It also endorsed the Republican incumbent in the governor’s race, Pat McCrory.
On the Democratic side of the governor’s race, Attorney General Roy Cooper is the best-known candidate.
But the Journal said Spaulding’s passion and varied experience give him the edge. Spaulding served in the N.C. House of Representatives in the early ’80s and has been involved in issues ranging from literacy to transportation and economic development.
“Cooper, the favorite of his party, has done a decent job in his post, is a generally good administrator and knows well the state’s other top executives,” the endorsement said. “But we contend that Spaulding, albeit the clear underdog in this fight, is the most qualified. He would bring a fresh and determined approach to the job.”
The News & Observer does not endorse candidates in primary elections but will make endorsements in November’s general election.