RALEIGH – Lieutenant Governor and 2020 gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest suspended campaign operations as the state went on lock down in response to coronavirus-related edicts from Governor Cooper. Campaign stops and fundraisers were canceled. When it became apparent that the shutdown orders were wreaking havoc on small-business owners and families, Forest started looking for ways for the campaign to help.
In the last few weeks, the Forest campaign has gifted approximately $200,000 of campaign funds to help those struggling as a result of these orders and the pressures of the pandemic environment. We might not have ever known it, but then Roy Cooper sent a tasteless fundraising email, asking for money because the campaign was falling short of it’s self-imposed goal while citizens across North Carolina are worried how they’ll pay their mortgage.
Hal Weatherman, Forest’s campaign manager, couldn’t help but draw the distinction between Cooper’s priorities and those of his Dan Forest.
North State Journal spoke with Forest to get more details behind the campaign charity:
“[…] “As soon as we saw the depth of the economic pain being felt by the people of North Carolina, we knew we needed to re-tool our campaign,” said Forest.
“It seems senseless and wrong to raise millions of dollars to put advertisements on TV when so many people in our state are out of work or mourning the loss of a loved one,” Forest said. “We have been blessed with so much support over the years, and it felt right to put our campaign money where it could do some real good.” […]
“Our gifts are just that — gifts. We didn’t tell anyone what we were doing, because we weren’t seeking publicity. And we are asking for nothing in return. It’s simply a blessing to be in a position where we can help our fellow North Carolinians,” said Forest. […]”
Beyond the contrast in approaches to campaign season during the height of COVID-19, there’s quite the contrast in governance as well. The lieutenant governor’s office told NSJ that they’ve not been informed prior to the announcements of sweeping orders, like the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order, and received no responses when reaching out to Cooper’s office to offer help in tackling the crisis.
Forest has also been stonewalled when asking for key data points from the Governor’s task force, and approaches to reopening the economy. Governor Cooper is expected to hold a press conference at 3:00 PM Thursday to unveil a reopening approach. There are also rumblings that Cooper will extend the ‘Stay-at-Home’ order.
Read more at North State Journal.