Dority vs. Marshall?

Published 12:43 am Friday, November 18, 2011

Beaufort County GOP chairman seeks secretary of state’s job

A self-described security consultant from Washington announced he’s running against Elaine Marshall, North Carolina’s Democratic secretary of state.

Marshall is pursuing her fifth four-year term.

Greg Dority, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, appeared to tie his hopes for beating Marshall to Pat McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor and 2008 GOP nominee for governor.

“A critical part of this race will be the success of Pat McCrory,” Dority said of the gubernatorial hopeful, who long ago made public his intention to challenge Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2012.

“If (McCrory) doesn’t win, it will be difficult for us to beat Ms. Marshall,” Dority added.

Dority sees “the east” — generally, areas of the state east of Interstate 95 — as crucial to the campaigns of statewide Republican candidates.

A student-volunteer for U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms’ campaign in 1978, Dority referred to advice he said was given to him by the now-late senator.

“Sen. Helms told me a long time ago the only way for the statewide ticket to win the race is by winning eastern North Carolina,” he said.

This isn’t Dority’s first foray into electoral politics.

He first ran for Congress in 2002, losing to then-U.S. Rep. Frank Ballance, D-N.C.

In 2004, he was turned back by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., who succeeded Ballance in the 1st Congressional District.

In 2008, Dority failed in his bid for lieutenant governor of the Old North State, losing the GOP nomination to Robert Pittenger.

And, in 2010, he was unable to dislodge U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., in a contest that took him to far-flung western counties.

The party activist asserted Marshall is “vulnerable in a statewide race.”

“Secretary Marshall does a great job on the administration side of the office,” he said, adding his vision of the post is to make it more proactive in bringing jobs to the state.

“We must make stronger efforts to bring about job creation in North Carolina, especially in the east,” he said.

He offered no specifics as to how he would advocate for job creation, but did say he’s made a habit of calling for “a zero corporate income tax” in North Carolina.

“We’ve got to make North Carolina more business friendly,” Dority asserted.

Surry Everett is chairman of the Beaufort County Democratic Party and a Marshall supporter who participated in a fundraiser for her last year.

“I don’t think he stands a chance,” Everett said of Dority. “He’s not qualified. Elaine has done a wonderful job for the people of the state of North Carolina.”

Dority’s old campaign website says he is a 1981 N.C. State University graduate, majoring in political science, and a former security director for ABC News’ Washington, D.C., bureau.