LAURINBURG — During a Saturday visit, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan contrasted her work to boost employment and her support of education in North Carolina to the record of her opponent in the November general election.
Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, is running for re-election against outgoing N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican who has represented Mecklenburg County in the state General Assembly for eight years. Also running is Libertarian Sean Haugh, a Durham pizza delivery man.
She discussed her campaign with some 75 Scotland County officials and residents at the Highlands on Saturday in an event that was closed to press. Afterward, she said that although the majority of Scotland County’s population typically veers Democratic, she is not taking votes in any area for granted.
“I want to be sure that we have a really strong voter turnout, not just in Scotland County but all across North Carolina,” said Hagan. “We want to make stops in as many areas as we can so that I can hear firsthand what the people on the ground, what their concerns are and let them also hear what my goals are, and right now it is jobs, making sure that we have an economy that works for everyone.”
Attendees included state Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland, state Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, state Sen. Gene McLaurin, D-Richmond, former state Sen. Bill Purcell, Scotland County Board of Commissioners Chairman Guy McCook, Richmond County Sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr., Scotland County Sheriff Shep Jones, Laurinburg City Council member Curtis Leak, and Scotland County Board of Education candidates Summer Stanley and former Laurinburg police chief Robert Malloy.
Hagan touted the AMERICA Works Act, which she co-sponsored and which was incorporated into a federal job training bill signed by President Barack Obama last month. In an effort to retrain the nation’s work force to possess the skills demanded by employers in an increasingly technological world, the act required that job training providers prioritize training that will lead to nationally recognized credentials relevant in their area.
She also castigated Tillis by association with controversial state legislation concerning public education, including teacher assistant cuts and stagnant teacher salaries.
“We’re putting forward a strong effort to educate people about how important these issues are, and in particular education,” Hagan said. “I think Thom Tillis has led the most destructive legislative agenda we’ve ever seen by giving tax cuts to the wealthy and cutting $500 million from education. That’s not what the people of North Carolina want.”
Reach reporter Mary Katherine Murphy at 910-506-3169 and follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.