Pat McCrory continues to push himself as a bipartisan candidate and "an outsider" in his latest TV ads. A new spot that debuted Friday features former Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay: "Once a democrat, always a democrat. Never voted any other way. ‘Til now."
Gay, who held his post for 28 years, switched to the Republican Party after losing to a black Democratic challenger in the 2010 primary for sheriff. Gay, who is white, blamed race for his loss. "I think the black community realized they had an opportunity to elect a black sheriff, and I think they took advantage of it," Gay told WRAL-TV. "Ninety-eight percent of them voted based on race. They didn't vote based on qualifications."
His opponent, Calvin Woodard, a former State Bureau of Investigation agent, won by a 24-point margin.
In the 30-second spot, Gay says, "Our only hope is Pat McCrory. Outsider. Fresh blood. Did great as mayor of Charlotte, he’ll do great with our state. Or, I’ll hunt him down."
The ad is running in rotation with another new one (below) featuring Ruth Revels, his former teacher at Jamestown High School. She touts McCrory's education ideals -- ("He wants to reward great teachers and for kids to learn to read before the fourth grade." -- and says if he does, she'll "give him a gold star."