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Local legislators react to Perdue’s decision

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Bev Perdue’s decision not to run again caused a political ripple throughout the state today.

Here in town we caught up with Democratic Rep. Susi Hamilton and Republican Sen. Thom Goolsby to get their reaction.

“I am surprised,” Sen. Goolsby said. “Typically when people reach those pinnacles of power they don’t want to give that kind of power up. They’ll fight tooth and nail to keep it.”

Apparently Gov. Perdue no longer wants to continue that fight.

Sen. Goolsby says he is sad about the whole ordeal, because from the time Republicans took over the General Assembly they had hoped Gov. Perdue would work with them. He says that simply did not happen, and that the governor just never understood what it means to lead.

“She opposed us every step of the way,” he said. “Whether it was voter ID, whether it was education reform, whether it was medical malpractice reform. I mean, you name it, we are literally fighting this governor on everything, and none of it makes sense.”

Rep. Hamilton has a different take on the situation. The freshman Democrat says she has already reached out to Gov. Perdue with her best wishes. She also said the stress of running again may have had something to do with Perdue’s decision.

“Elections are tough,” Rep. Hamilton said. “They’re tough on your family. They’re tough on you physically, emotionally. She wanted to be focused on public education, is what I’m to understand, and I think that she’s a remarkable person for making the ultimate sacrifice to do just that and stand behind North Carolina’s children.”

Perdue’s departure means a wide-open race for governor. Hamilton says no matter who ends up taking Perdue’s place in Raleigh, Democrats will continue their fight for North Carolina’s children.

“We’re going to continue to pursue a good solid foundation for North Carolina’s children, and that’s why I’m going to return to the legislature next year.”

Goolsby says he looks forward to supporting fellow Republican Pat McCrory, who narrowly lost to Perdue in 2008. Goolsby says he believes the former Charlotte mayor understands what it takes to put North Carolina back to work.

More: continued here

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