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Bye-bye Beverly: The schoolchildren thank you

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

For the children. For their future.

Like any good rank-and-file beauty queen, soon-to-be-retiring N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue said she wasn’t seeking re-election for the children. And their future.

Yes, you read that correctly. Perdue isn’t seeking re-election because she cares too much about the schoolchildren and their future.

“The thing I care about most right now is making sure that our schools and schoolchildren do not continue to be the victims of shortsighted legislative actions and severe budget cuts inflicted by a legislative majority with the wrong priorities.

“Therefore, I am announcing today that I have decided not to seek re-election. I hope this decision will open the door to an honest and bipartisan effort to help our schools,” Perdue said Thursday.

Yes, seriously.

I’m sure her decision had nothing to do with dismal approval ratings, usually hovering between the 20-to-30-percent margin (on a good day).

I’m sure she’s not opting out of a second run at the governor’s mansion because she recently announced she planned to re-implement a TEMPORARY sales tax increase (which, incidentally, she also said was for the schoolchildren).

And Perdue’s decision not to seek re-election absolutely can’t have anything to do with the fact her campaign, like her predecessor (governor-turned-convicted-felon) Mike Easley’s, is also under federal scrutiny.

All of those would be considered pretty good reasons not to seek re-election, especially in this hyper-heated political season, but dear Beverly, cares about only one thing.

Yes, you guessed right, the schoolchildren.

It has nothing to do with the fact she likely wouldn’t have made it out of a Democratic primary let alone gone on to win re-election in November.

No, not Bev.

Again, she did it because of the children.

How refreshing that in this world of pay-to-play politics and ne’er-do-well politicians, there’s still an honest one out there.

Several candidates have been flirting with the idea of running in her stead, though nary a one of them have a chance, I do believe.

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who is best know for, well I guess for being Perdue’s lieutenant governor, threw his hat in the ring hours after Perdue’s announcement.

Some other names that have been thrown out there include our own U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, state Rep. Bill Faison (who was rumored to give Perdue a primary challenge even if she had stayed in) and Erskine Bowles, of the semi-famous, Obama-appointed Simpson-Bowles Commission.

My guess would be Roy Cooper would be the likely nominee of that group, though why would anyone want to leave his post of running the State Bureau of Investigation, what with that glowing investigative series in the News and Observer and all?

Truth be told, I think it would be difficult for any Democrat to best former Charlotte mayor and presumptive GOP nominee Pat McCrory, who’s been running since 2008.

He’s “officially” announcing his bid Wednesday, but, like I said, he’s been running now for four years.

McCrory also has quite a war chest built up by now and tons of name recognition to boot. Whoever challenges McCrory, it will be unlikely they’ll have more name recognition than him.

I delighted Perdue is not seeking re-election for far too many reasons than there’s room to list, but, honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised.

Truth is, Perdue not seeking re-election really is a good thing for the children. They might actually be able to find a well-paying job in North Carolina.

So to our soon-to-be-former governor, I wish you luck and happiness in your retirement.

Oh, and can you please call your buddy in the White House and suggest he follow suit.

Caroline Curran is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or by email at ccurran@brunswickbeacon.com.