The North Carolina Association of Educators plan to remain neutral in the Democratic primary for governor, according to Scott Anderson, the executive director of the teacher's group.
Anderson the decision was based on a shortage of time to go through an endorsement process, which requires ratification process by its full memership and the fact that several of the Democrats are acceptable to the teachers group.
The three major candidates are former Congressman Bob Etheridge, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison.
“Especially with Dalton and Etheridge you have two people who are well known have a long history on our issues and to some extent Faison does as well, although he is lesser known to our members,” Anderson said.
“Ultimately, we are focused on making sure we have a strong pro education governor in November,” Anderson said.
The non endorsement is likely to be especially disappointing to Etheridge who is a former state superintendent of public instruction.
It is the second major employee/labor group to announce that it will set out the primary. The State Employees Association of North Carolina is also not endorsing.
Anderson said the NCAE screening committee would like to talk with former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the likely Republican nominee. But it seems clear that McCrory has some selling to do before he can get the endorsement of the 60,000 member organization that leans Democratic.
“Our concern with Pat McCrory is that publicly he has aligned himself with the cuts that have become common place over the last couple of years in public education,” Anderson said. “He really hasn't shown an understanding of the impact it has made or spoken out to protect the classroom.''
Instead, said Anderson, he has defended the Republican legislature, in the cuts it has made.