This piece appeared in the Nov. 2 Election Special Edition. View more from that edition.


Here is what candidates for major North Carolina office have to say about the following two questions: 

1. What is your goal for North Carolina if you are elected? 

2. What will you do for college students, and why should they vote for you?


Elon News Network reached out to all candidates for responses and found answers online for those candidates who did not respond as of publication. The source for each response is cited.

Gubernatorial Race


Too many graduates are finding that their degree does not provide them with a marketable skill set to get a job. We need to work more closely with businesses and educational leaders to guarantee the quality of a North Carolina degree for every course of study. To this end, a McCrory administration will work to create an important feedback loop for students and parents as they choose their educational path, measure and ensure the quality of North Carolina degree and ease the ability to share best practices between campuses and industries.




I am running for Governor because it is time that North Carolina works for everyone, not just the select few. I am concerned that as unemployment begins to drop, wages are not beginning to rise. I believe we have made budget and tax decisions that have been driven more by ideology than by sound thinking on how to grow the economy and create more opportunity. I know that we can do better. We need a new set of priorities that focuses on rising incomes, putting more money in the pockets of working families, and helping small businesses start up and grow.

North Carolina must uphold its constitutional commitment guaranteeing post-secondary education is “free as far as practical.” This means working to get the Board of Governors to reverse its policy that caps financial aid and instead challenging members to address student loan debt once and for all. Research shows that 61 percent of seniors graduating from a North Carolina four-year college in 2014 had debt that averaged $25,218.20. As alarming as this is, the situation will only get worse if Governor McCrory gets his way.



Senatorial Race


For Senator Burr, jobs are a top priority. Our country is stuck in the slowest economic expansion in nearly 70 years. He believes we need to make the tax code simpler, fairer and less burdensome so small businesses here in North Carolina can thrive and create jobs. He also believes we need to improve education and make it more affordable so the next generation of Americans have the same opportunities to succeed.

When it comes to delivering for North Carolina students, Senator Burr has produced real results. Senator Burr authored the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, which reduced student loan rates, and as a result, North Carolina students will save more than $1 billion this year on their student loan costs. Providing students with ample job opportunities following graduation is critical and Senator Burr will continue to fight to improve the job climate for young professionals. Students want elected leaders who can promise more than empty rhetoric, and Senator Burr has a proven record of accomplishment on issues important to students.




As a U.S. Senator, Deborah will continue to prioritize education. Inclusive, accessible, and affordable education enriches students, grows our economy, and keeps our nation globally competitive. She is focused on strengthening early education, investing in our public schools and making college and student loans more affordable. North Carolina’s voices have been ignored in Washington for too long. As your senator, I’ll work for the people, not the powerful .



Secretary of State Race


Along with restoring trust and integrity to the office of secretary of state, I will prioritize work to reorient the office away from regulation and bureaucracy — toward effective customer service. I will make it cheaper, faster and easier to start, maintain and grow businesses in North Carolina.




When I grew up, I witnessed instances of inequity and discrimination in my community, directed at men, women, children and families who would have little chance of realizing their dreams.

So as a lawyer, I stood up for people without a voice. As a member of the North Carolina Senate, I got needed healthcare services, especially for our state’s rural areas. And as Secretary of State, I have made protecting consumers and creating jobs my top priorities.



Attorney General Race


As Attorney General, I will stand for the rule of law, so our businesses and families can thrive. I understand what makes North Carolina the best state to raise a family and for businesses to grow and create jobs. I will protect our way of life and ensure the next generation inherits the same opportunities to succeed.

In addition to protecting all of our citizens by prosecuting hardened criminals, our Attorney General can stand for small businesses and the private sector against excessive government, particularly the federal government’s overreach. North Carolina’s job creators need an ally in the Attorney General’s office.




Josh Stein has the experience and values the people of North Carolina need in their Attorney General. Josh has consistently taken on powerful interests to protect families. Just as he has his entire career, as Attorney General, he will put the people of North Carolina first.



North Carolina Supreme Court Race


My goal, when reelected, is to continue to serve the people of North Carolina as a fair, impartial and independent Justice, as I have been doing for the last sixteen years.

Unlike candidates for executive and legislative positions, judges and justices are limited in the promises they can make. I will continue my outreach and education efforts. College students should vote for me because I am the better qualified candidate. I am the only candidate with experience as a justice on the Supreme Court or as a judge on the Court of Appeals. I am the only candidate with bipartisan support (for example, four former Chief Justices, two Republican and two Democrat). I am the only candidate who has experienced making a living in the private practice of law. I am the only candidate with an advanced law degree (LL.M., University of Virginia). I am the only candidate who has served as an adjunct professor of law (Campbell University).




As a dedicated community member with a strong commitment to his church, Mike understands what ordinary families are going through and he has a track record of administering fair and impartial justice. He’s got the experience, temperament and judgment to serve the people of North Carolina on the Supreme Court.” –President Barack Obama

Source: Raleigh News & Observer