Grange says NC needs ‘governor who is not divisive’ ahead of Republican primary

Capitol Report

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Republican State Rep. Holly Grange says she’s trying to provide another choice as she takes on Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in their party’s primary for governor.

“North Carolina needs somebody as governor who is not divisive,” Grange said in an interview with CBS 17’s Michael Hyland.

Forest has served as lieutenant governor since being elected in 2012, with many in Raleigh anticipating he would run and be chosen as the party’s nominee for governor in 2020.

“People are concerned about electability. And, whoever wins this primary needs to be electable against Gov. Roy Cooper,” said Grange.

Grange, who represents New Hanover County in the General Assembly, went to high school in Fayetteville and graduated from West Point.

Her husband, David, also served in the Army. One of her sons also graduated from West Point, becoming the fourth generation in the family to serve in the military.

“I’m very mission-focused. I like to get things done,” said Grange.

Lawmakers left Raleigh last week with the state’s budget impasse still unresolved.

Cooper (D) vetoed the budget crafted by Republicans in the legislature, saying it should have expanded Medicaid and provided higher raises for teachers.

He rejected one plan to give teachers an average 3.9 percent raise over two years.

When asked how she would resolve the impasse, Grange said, “It takes leadership. When I look at the teacher salaries, Gov. Cooper has vetoed every teacher (raise) that has been put in front of him since he’s been the governor. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at math and 3.9 percent is a lot higher than zero.”

She disagrees with Cooper’s call to expand Medicaid, saying, “I don’t think that expansion should be unfettered. I do believe that people should have to pay premiums. They should have to work, and they should have to participate in wellness programs.”

Grange and Forest have taken similar positions on some issues, such as the state requiring local sheriffs to cooperate with ICE and backing a bill that would require medical professionals to provide care for infants who survive attempted abortions.

They’ve differed on the bill the General Assembly passed in 2017 to repeal HB2, known as the bathroom bill.

Grange voted to repeal it, while Forest encouraged legislators to keep HB2 in place.

The repeal bill set a moratorium until Dec. 1, 2020, on local governments passing nondiscrimination ordinances.

“I felt that it was appropriate for me to vote to repeal that bill, to repeal HB2. And, we need to bring people back to the table and discuss what we need to do regarding non-discrimination ordinances,” she said.

The conservative Civitas Institute released a poll on the Republican gubernatorial primary in December.

However, it included former Gov. Pat McCrory as a potential candidate.

He is not running.

That poll had McCrory at 42 percent support, Forest at 31 percent and Grange at 3 percent, with 25 percent undecided.

“At some point, you have to take risks in life,” said Grange.

She also responded to a recent report by the progressive publication NC Policy Watch, which reported that Grange did not disclose a business her husband owned (Osprey at Compass Point LLC) on her Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) forms.

She said, “This particular business never had any business conducted under it, nor did it have any assets. And, I’m required to report in my SEI businesses that I, or a family member, have a material interest in. So, there was no material interest in this particular business, so I was justified in not listing it on my report.”

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