As Governor Pat McCrory
prepares to defend his office in November, one stop along his campaign tour will be in Winston-Salem for the third live interview in our Candidate Conversations series
The governor has spent a lot of time in and around the startup community—he's spoken at the CED Tech Venture Conference
and addressed the crowd gathered for the Institute for Emerging Issues’
annual forum. He recently signed a crowdfunding bill meant to help small and startup businesses raise capital from almost anyone in the state of North Carolina.
A frequent refrain during speaking engagements is the concept of an “Innovation Triangle” that includes the Bay Area, Boston and Cambridge and our own Research Triangle region. The innovation and emerging business development happening in our state is clearly a source of pride for the man.
But McCrory hasn’t been in everyone’s favor in recent months with the abrupt passage of House Bill 2 or the “bathroom bill” earlier this year. Some members of the startup community rallied together
to call for its repeal, citing both stories and fears of lost talent and investment.
All of these topics will be on the agenda Wednesday, September 7, when the governor sits for an interview with ExitEvent
Editor Laura Baverman before a live invite-only audience at Inmar,
a global commerce analytics software company headquartered in Winston-Salem’s Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
This is the third interview we’re conducting with North Carolina politicians leading up to this Fall’s general election. In May, we hosted Attorney General Roy Cooper
at American Underground
in Durham, where Baverman and four entrepreneurs got the chance to ask questions of McCrory’s opponent. Topics ranged from economic development strategy to education policy and included a couple asks by Cooper for the startup community to pitch in.
Then in August, U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross visited the Underground, met students from the Code the Dream program and fielded questions about the Affordable Care Act, racial tension, transit, the gig economy and her own experience as a woman in politics and business.
While these conversations aren’t open to the public, we always consider questions from entrepreneurs, investors and others in startup communities around the state. Please email any questions for the governor to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Thursday, September 1.
We’ll film the event, and release videos in partnership with WRAL.com
in the days to follow. Highlights of our interviews with Cooper and Ross are here
McCrory, 59, has served four years as governor of North Carolina, after a record seven terms as mayor of Charlotte. He spent 28 years at Duke Energy, retiring to work for a sales consulting firm and then a Charlotte law firm. He was born in Ohio but moved to Jamestown, North Carolina as a child and attended Catawba College.
According to McCrory's campaign website
, he considers his biggest accomplishments in office reducing unemployment and strengthening the North Carolina economy in a “Carolina Comeback”, reducing corporate and personal tax rates, approving a $2 billion Connect NC bond to fund a variety of infrastructure projects around the state and raising teacher pay. He'll share more of his accolades and priorities in the conversation next week.
Check back here for a recap after the interview. And to get an idea of the types of questions we’ll ask and how candidates are responding so far, read our Cooper
We hope to conclude our first Candidate Conversations series with U.S. Senator Richard Burr. Details to come.