Charlotte politician seeking 12th District seat visits Winston-Salem

NC Rep. Rodney Moore meets with Democratic leaders in Winston-Salem.
A state lawmaker from Charlotte with his eyes on the 12th Congressional District seat currently held by US Rep. Mel Watt made a foray into Winston-Salem to make his case to a small group of Democratic leaders yesterday.

NC Rep. Rodney Moore was introduced by NC Rep. Ed Hanes Jr., a Forsyth County lawmaker, during the informal question-and-answer session at Mayor Allen Joines' campaign office.

The district, which snakes along the Interstate 85 corridor from Charlotte to parts of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem in the north, has been represented by Watt of Charlotte since 1993. Hanes told Moore that any Charlotte candidate who wants support from northern-tier voters will have to persuade them that he will provide equitable representation.

"I don't know how true it is, but I've heard there's been some perceived communication gap between different government entities," Moore said. "And so I just want to tell you that I'm going to be very open and accessible."

Watt's nomination by President Obama to head the Federal Housing Finance Administration has prompted a slew of Democratic politicians to put themselves in contention for the seat, which will be decided by a special election. In addition to Moore, NC Sen. Malcolm Graham (D-Mecklenburg) and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools attorney George Battle, along with two Guilford County state lawmakers, Alma Adams and Marcus Brandon.

Brandon made a converse move by campaigning in Charlotte over the July 4 holiday.

Graham topped a recent Public Policy Polling poll with support from 31 percent of likely voters, followed by Adams, with 22 percent. NC Rep. Beverly Earle of Charlotte carried 8 percent, while Brandon garnered 5 percent. Moore polled near the bottom, drawing 3 percent, along with former Mecklenburg County Commission chair Harold Cogdell.

The small group that gathered to hear from Moore included Winston-Salem Councilman Derwin Montgomery, Forsyth County Senior Democrats President Jim Shaw and the Rev. John Mendez.

Moore said depending on when Watt is confirmed the special election to determine his replacement could wind up being folded into the general election in November. The candidate said he would take a bipartisan approach to governing if elected to represent the 12th Congressional District, which leans heavily Democratic.

"I see that Washington, for the most part, right now it's just not functioning properly," Moore said. "It's a whole lot of soundbites, whether you're a Republican and you get on Fox News and you expound the party philosophy, the conservative philosophy; most of the time if you're a Democrat you're on MSNBC and you're expounding the Democratic philosophy, the liberal philosophy. I don't believe you can govern that way. You have to be able to talk to one another and get things done, even if you don't agree with each other."

Moore said, if elected, he would emphasize education, advocate for veteran services, use his relationship with US Secretary of Transportation of Anthony Foxx (who is the former mayor of Charlotte) to bring highway and bridge funding to the district and promote energy independence.

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