Former Congressman Bob Etheridge, the son of a tobacco tenant farmer, is preaching to suburbanites, many of whom have accents that reflect childhoods spent far from North Carolina.
Etheridge educates the newcomers saying they all owe a debt to previous Democratic governors such as Terry Sanford, who had the foresight to invest state money in education. "That’s why I am running for governor," Etheridge tells the Democratic club meeting at an IHOP restaurant. "If we don’t recommit ourselves, we may find ourselves looking up at Mississippi and Alabama, and I’m not for that."
Etheridge, a gangling 6-foot-6-inch man who at age 71 still easily bounds up stairs, has always had a bit of preacher in him, full of a salesman’s good cheer and enthusiasm, with nary an unkind word – with one very jarring exception. Read the full profile here.