The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

Marshall Describes Post, Goals

Her dream, she said, is to work for North Carolinians in the U.S. Senate -- a seat she plans to run for in the 2002 elections.

"It's time to send Jesse Helms home," Marshall said to an applauding crowd of more than 20 students. "I talk the talk and walk the walk."

Marshall said she hopes to cap off her state government run, from winning a state Senate seat in 1993 to becoming the first female secretary of state in 1996, by winning a U.S. Senate seat in 2002.

She would be vying for the Senate seat currently held by Republican incumbent Jesse Helms.

Helms has not said if he has decided to step down or run again after his term expires.

Marshall said she would run on a platform that would reach all areas of North Carolina and its people -- not just the highly industrial and populated areas -- increasing the use of technology in historically agriculture-based areas.

"Technology is essential in every part of the state," she said. "Agriculture has got to be contemporary."

Chris Brook, president of the Young Democrats, said he thought it would be interesting to see the Senate race in November 2002.

"(Marshall's) a public official who's not going to hide from questions and the people," Brook said. "You can recognize North Carolina in Elaine Marshall."

Marshall also discussed her job as secretary of state and what it entails.

Her office maintains public records and certifies election results. It also certifies notaries public and oversees all accounting and law firms in the state.

Sophomore James Haltom of Rockingham said he was impressed with Marshall and found her to be very informative.

"It's important to see what the secretary of state does," he said. "It's also important to show the relevance of her position to young people."

But Marshall said it is a good time to be involved in politics -- especially for women. "Sometime about 10 years ago a light went on and women realized the best person to represent them is another woman."

In 1996, Marshall defeated NASCAR icon Richard Petty to become the state's first female secretary of state.

But she said the fact that she is a woman was not the first thing she mentioned while campaigning. Instead she said she focused on real issues pertinent to her constituents, and the fact that she was a woman was not the dominant factor of her campaign.

Marshall, an attorney, said she first became involved with politics when she saw the example her parents set in their own community in rural Maryland with their nondomineering way of giving to the community.

She said she hopes to use her parents' example of public service and the lessons she learned from the 4-H program to help North Carolinians in the future. "I'm the kind of person that speaks out," Marshall said. "Being elected to public office has served as a remedy for my need to help everybody."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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