Perdue: We can love the military, oppose an OLF

Published 8:35 pm Sunday, April 15, 2007

By By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, a state leader in military affairs and a top contender for governor, said Saturday she can “love and nurture” the military and still oppose an outlying landing field being proposed for the eastern part of the state.
Perdue led the state’s efforts during the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure Commission process, tapped by Gov. Mike Easley to protect the third-largest military presence in the country.
Perdue was the keynote speaker at the Beaufort County Democratic Party’s annual convention, which was held at the courthouse.
Perdue said an OLF should not be placed in an area that does not want it, a message she’s given for more than two years. She said she’s glad other political leaders are “jumping on our bandwagon” to oppose an OLF on the border of Washington and Beaufort counties.
Her local stop was one of several planned in eastern North Carolina on Saturday as the unofficial candidate for governor talked about what she called her “campaign-to-be.”
And while Perdue didn’t announce her candidacy while in Beaufort County — that’s expected to come at the end of the year — the New Bern resident did say voters have an opportunity to “have a governor from eastern North Carolina.”
And later she asked local Democrats to “watch my back.”
Perdue, who served two terms in the state House and five in the state Senate before becoming lieutenant governor, said people, at first, didn’t take her seriously when she decided to run for a seat in the Legislature.
After that reaction, Perdue returned to her Craven County office and cried before calling her father, she said.