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Dalton touts early college programs in gubernatorial run

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TWC News: Dalton touts early college programs in gubernatorial run
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RALEIGH -- In the governor's absence, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton presided over a meeting of the Council of State Tuesday. He is running to get the job for good by winning the governor's race.

“I am the one leader that has a record of using creativity and innovation to create jobs now and build those jobs for the future and improving education,” he said.

Dalton touts as one of his biggest accomplishments his role in creating early college high school programs in North Carolina, allowing students to work towards college degrees while still in high school.

“I have worked to align those schools with the job needs of the future so we can recruit jobs now, build jobs now, but also build for the future,” he said. “The other candidates cannot say that and that is going to be critical for North Carolina as we go forward.”

Like the other leading Democratic candidates, Dalton is against the marriage amendment. But in 2005, he co-sponsored similar legislation for a constitutional referendum to ban gay marriage and civil unions.

“It's not a flip-flop,” he said. “I was responding to my particular constituency at that particular time.”

One issue some of the gubernatorial contenders disagree on is fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. It's a controversial method of drilling for natural gas.

Supporters said it would create jobs and help the state's struggling economy, but opponents worry it would hurt the environment.

“If we should allow it, we should regulate it to make sure we protect our water supply, that we don't do damage to the substructure of the earth that would cause earthquakes,” he said. “And we should make sure if we do go there it does create a significant number of jobs and there's debate about that.”

Like the other leading democratic candidates, Dalton supports bringing back a three-quarter cent sales tax increase to restore cut education funding.

Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is expected to be the Republican nominee for governor. The primary election is May 8.

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