CORRECTION: A previous version of the article misstated the organization Brigit Godfrey works for. She works for the North Carolina Democratic party. The article has been updated to reflect the change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
A new year could bring about changes in leadership in North Carolina. With the North Carolina primaries on March 3, the election for governor will soon be in full swing.
Incumbent Democratic candidate Gov. Roy Cooper is running again for office, but not uncontested. There are two candidates running for the Republican bid for governor, N.C. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest of Charlotte and N.C. Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) of Wilmington. Ernest Reeves is challenging Cooper for the Democratic bid.
Forest has been lieutenant governor since being elected in 2012, presiding over the N.C. Senate. He also sits on the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges.
Forest has campaigned on making rural towns more of a priority.
“If you live in the city, it is easy to forget that 85 percent of the state of North Carolina is actually rural,” Forest said in a January campaign video. “I want to make sure that you all know this message today is for the people of rural North Carolina.”
Forest said he is willing to do whatever it takes for the rural communities in the state.
“The problem is, many of our small towns in North Carolina today are just trying to survive,” Forest said. “Jobs are still disappearing, young people are still leaving and they’re not coming back either. Rural North Carolina needs a revival.”
As a representative in the N.C. House, Grange offers a different set of experiences and perspectives than Forest. She is also a United States Army veteran, serving in places such as South Korea, Virginia and North Carolina.