Now that I'm two weeks into my campaign for the office of Lt. Governor, let me share the "why" behind the intense travel required in a statewide race. To date, I've already traveled to and spoken to Republican groups in 12 counties... and am on pace to come close to all 100 counties visited in the first quarter of this year. For example, this weekend, I was in Rocky Mount in Edgecombe and Nash Counties and next week will make stops in Wake, Mecklenburg, Surry, Lincoln, Orange, Wilkes, and Cumberland counties. To be clear, this 100 county tour I'm on is not a one and done event. It is simply the first of several pass throughs of the state during a 14 month sprint to the primary and, if successful there, a 21 month marathon to the general election.
Traveling the state puts me in front of the people for whom I want to serve. Think of it as a job interview. I'm interviewing for the job, one stop at a time. I want my prospective employers (IE- you the voting public) to see the intensity and drive that I'm bringing to the race. I want the Republican primary voters to see how hard I am working for their support, so they will have no ambiguity of the intensity of effort that I will take to the general election if I am so honored with the Republican nomination. To be clear, traveling this great state is no burden. I enjoy it. I love the people of North Carolina. I love the Lincoln Reagan Day Dinners, the County Conventions, the affiliated Republican clubs, the rubber chicken circuit, the backroads, the endless BBQ dinners and the one on one interactions with all walks of life. The people of North Carolina are our state's greatest asset. Traveling North Carolina is not new to me. Over the last decade I have driven over 500,000 miles in-state, gone through multiple vehicles, and visited all 100 counties (many times).
Nearly all the Republican clubs I speak to now as a candidate, I have spoken to before as a campaign manager -- some, several times over the years. If you have followed me on Facebook over time, my traveling the state is not a surprise to you. But here are a couple of things you might not know. First, before every speech or event I attend, I pray and ask for God's favor to go before me, to guide my thoughts, words and actions. I specifically pray for Him to bring to me at those meetings, the people and resources I don't even know I need and then give me the wisdom to know what to do with them once they come forward. He has never failed to deliver. And I am long past being surprised by seemingly random occurrences that deliver just what I need, when I need it, and delivered in a way I never could have imagined.
Likewise, throughout my entire career in politics and in the private sector, I have always given out business cards with my personal cell phone on it. If elected Lt. Governor, my business cards will continue to have my personal cell listed. I do that so that I can be accessible to the people I serve. My traveling the state is my way of interviewing for the job, it's my way of showing the voters I want to earn their support the old fashioned way... through hard work. I was born in this state, love this state, have traveled this state, have served this state, and now want to help lead this state. I hope to meet you on my travels.