Editorial: Awaiting inspiration, imagination

Dec. 28, 2013 @ 11:47 PM

Landing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to speak at the annual Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce banquet is quite the catch.

As of Dec. 21, according to the state board of elections voter statistics, Vance County numbered 29,700 registered voters. Of those, 20,763 are Democrats, 4,150 are Republican and 4,742 are unaffiliated.

The positive for McCrory is an opportunity to visit a Tier 1 rural county with unemployment regularly among the 10 worst of the state’s 100 counties and deliver a speech of significance.

McCrory spent the bulk of his political years as a mayor in Charlotte. That’s big city with a lot of banking, but it’s also a Democratic hub as well.

A non-partisan audience shouldn’t rattle him in the least. It’s not question and answer, other than small talk off the stage.

But when he steps behind the microphone, we hope to hear a straight and true message.

He’s challenged. Our Tri-County region has been gutted over the last decade-plus. We’re hanging on for everything we can get.

We’ve had visits from two significant members of the state’s commerce department, including Secretary Sharon Decker. We’ve got a county commissioner serving the N.C. Rural Authority in Tommy Hester, the lone Vance County appointment of McCrory.

The governor’s visit assures that Vance County is on the radar when it comes to actions in Raleigh, although not necessarily any more than the other 99 counties. When he visited in the summer, it wasn’t to politically stump, but to check out downtown Henderson.

McCrory has no need to stump here next month. He does have need to share a chamber of commerce-friendly, believable message of economic hope rooted in substance and action.

He can assure us rural counties won’t be trampled and forgotten amid the urban-friendly legislation that matches a society favoring opportunities from larger cities.

This isn’t friendly political ground for McCrory. Two out of three are blue, and the other one isn’t a full red. Politically motivated speeches are waste of his time and ours.

What we would welcome is inspiration, imagination and realistic expectations. Our job is to receive such a message with an open mind believing in how ideas can succeed, not why they will fail.