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NC gubernatorial candidates stump at trucking conference

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TWC News: NC gubernatorial candidates stump at trucking conference
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CHARLOTTE--"I know your position on I-95 and I agree with your position on I-95," Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton told a crowd Friday.

Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory had a similar message. "I will do a total evaluation of all road projects and transportation for NC."

Both vowed to work closely with the trucking industry and to make changes if elected North Carolina governor as they stumped in Ballantyne.

The Democratic and Republican candidates were in town for the North Carolina Trucking Association's annual Management Conference. About 200 members, including Duane Long, Chairman of Longistics, packed the ballroom to hear first hand what each had to say. "The number one issue we're concerned about is tolling, tolling of I-95."

The group wants plans to turn the interstate into a toll road scrapped, claiming it would create a problem for economic development for cities along I-95. Instead Long said the association is pushing the gas tax. "User fees are the way to raise the funds for our highways and to maintain our highways, through the present gas tax we already have.”

Tolls on Interstate 95 is one of the few things both candidates seem to agree on. Both McCrory and Dalton vowed to review all proposed road projects if elected.

"I want to make sure all the numbers make sense for all our road projects are clearly prioritized . I'll be looking at a clean sheet when I become governor, " McCrory said.

"I think we need to look at all alternatives,'' Dalton added. ''I'm not going to take it off the table. I think it needs to be a last resort. But if there's no other way to build these roads and alleviate some of the congestion then I think we need to look at that."

Words both candidates hope will resonate with this group in November.

Members say other issues facing the industry, the need for more infrastructure and more truckers. They want the candidates to come up with a plan to address those issues as well.

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