The Transylvania Times -

By Mark Todd
Staff Writer" 

Senate Candidate Stumps In County


Kay Hagan

Kay Hagan, the Democratic candidate opposing incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole for the U.S. Senate, visited Brevard Saturday and spoke to a packed house at the Rogow Room in the Transylvania County Library.

While Dole addressed an audience a few blocks away on Main Street and participated in the city's 140th birthday celebration, Hagan had an enthusiastic audience of her own.

A member of the state Senate from Greensboro, she got an endorsement and an introduction from N.C. Sen. John Snow, a Democrat who represents

Transylvania County.

Snow said Hagan has the tenacity and determination to get things done, and the interest of the public at heart.

"She knows about money. She knows how to pinch a penny," Snow said, noting Hagan's background in banking.

"She is a very diligent person. If you elect Kay Hagan as senator for North Carolina, she will work like I work for you. She is relentless."

"I am running because Washington, D.C." is broken," Hagan said.

Powerful lobbyists and corporate interests have too much control of the national agenda, she said, while gas prices are at an all-time high, health care is in crisis and young people see their hopes of attending college slip away because of financial shortcomings.

"Nobody in Washington is listening," said Hagan, who said Dole too often sides with special interests and not the average person on the street.

At one point in her remarks, she made reference to the fact that Dole has lived in Washington, D.C. and with her husband, former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, in Kansas for much of her life.

"I'll be a very different kind of senator," Hagan said.

She said some oil drilling is necessary, but not off the coast of North Carolina. The nation is not going to drill itself out of the energy crisis but must invest far more in alternative energy sources, she said.

North Carolina, with its outstanding educational institutions, could lead the way and create new jobs for its people in that field, Hagan said.

She said the nation must "safely and responsibly end the war in Iraq. We need to redouble our efforts in Afghanistan and catch Osama Bin Laden," Hagan said.

Fighting in Iraq, she said, "is not making us any safer. We are refereeing a civil war now."

Hagan said the NAFTA trade agreement has worked poorly for North Carolina in particular, and thousands of jobs have been lost to foreign countries. Future trade agreements should be entered into carefully, she said, to make sure that environmental and labor standards are addressed.

She said Congress needs to stop giving tax breaks to companies sending jobs overseas, work to balance the federal budget, and support more workforce training.

Hagan is no stranger to Transylvania County because all three of her children have attended summer camp here and she has camped in the Pisgah National Forest a number of times over the years.

She said she looks forward to an opportunity to debate Dole, but so far Dole has not accepted.


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