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Jan 25, 2004
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Crutchfield Set to Take On Morgan


Political newcomer Peggy Crutchfield launched her campaign for state House of Representatives Friday with an opening blast at her opponent, Co- Speaker of the House Richard Morgan.

Crutchfield, 63, best known as president of the United Way of Moore County, announced Friday that she will be a Republican candidate for the District 52 seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

In her opening statement, Crutchfield says that Moore County voters sent Morgan to Raleigh as “a conservative champion in the mold of Ronald Reagan” and “instead we got Benedict Arnold.”

Crutchfield says she is running for state House because she believes Morgan has “betrayed and abandoned” the conservative Moore County voters who elected him.

Former Southern Pines Mayor Mike Fields has agreed to chair the Crutchfield for N.C. House Committee and to serve as campaign spokesman.

“I was pleased to see Peggy come forward one more time in service to her community,” Fields said. “She is an outstanding person with the highest level of integrity. People who know Peggy Crutchfield best know that she always puts the good of her community ahead of her own personal agenda.

“I believe that’s a very healthy attitude. I am going to do everything I can to get Peggy to Raleigh, and I encourage all of my Republican friends across Moore County to join us in this campaign.”

Crutchfield says she was motivated by media reports “detailing Morgan’s collaboration with House liberals to block tax cuts, grow the size of state government, and retaliate against conservatives in the House.”

This is her first try at seeking public elective office. Crutchfield says she has never held an office in the Republican Party and that she was not recruited by the state Republican group organized to find opposition to Richard Morgan.

Instead, she says she was encouraged to run for office by numerous Moore County residents who share her views.

“The heartfelt encouragement and promises of support I have received from residents all over Moore County have been very touching, and very overwhelming,” Crutchfield said. “This is democracy in action. People in Moore County have just had it with Richard Morgan and his games.”

Quoting from The News & Observer of Raleigh, Crutchfield said: “It sometimes gets difficult to tell the difference between the words and deeds of Richard Morgan and those of Jim Black, the leader of the liberal tax-and-spend crowd in the state House.”

The candidate says she rejects Morgan’s argument that it was necessary to cooperate with liberals in order to do “what had to be done.”

Criticizes Morgan

“Many great Speakers of the House in the past formed an agenda based on their party platform and fought to get that agenda passed through the House,” Crutchfield said. “Richard Morgan’s only agenda is sitting around and waiting for his marching orders from Jim Black, Mike Easley, and the rest of the liberal tax-and-spend crowd in Raleigh.”

If elected, Crutchfield says, she would support efforts to cut taxes, create jobs, control the growth of state government and spur economic growth. She promises to work for increased incentives, such as tax breaks and exemptions from regulations for people or organizations that donate time, property or money to nonprofits that assist the needy.

“Private individuals or organizations in our state who work hard to help the needy should be rewarded for taking on a task that government bureaucrats have failed miserably at,” she said. “I want North Carolina to move away from the welfare state and move closer toward a society where neighbors are caring for neighbors.”

She expects to base that part of her campaign on her experience in public life. Prior to accepting the presidency of the United Way, she spearheaded anti-litter initiatives while serving as executive director of Keep Moore County Beautiful. Crutchfield served two years as president of MooreHealth, a coalition formed to address health-care issues affecting the local community.

To Keep United Way Job

Crutchfield plans to continue working for the United Way and has advised her executive committee and board about her candidacy.

Her position will be up for annual review in June or July, and “from there, we will take it step by step,” she said.

Crutchfield also promises to work “to jump-start economic development efforts in Moore County.”

In her statement, the candidate criticizes the N.C. Department of Commerce, which she says has ignored Moore County in recent years.

“You would think that — with the co-speaker being from Moore County — we’d get more attention,” she said. “Where has Richard Morgan been on this issue? We have a lot of people in Moore County who are out of work. We need help from Raleigh.

“As a legislator, I will pull together leaders from all four corners of our county to form a team to pitch Moore County’s case to Raleigh. I will make sure Moore County gets a little more fairness in the state’s industrial recruitment efforts.”

A native of Greensboro, Crutchfield attended Meredith College. She and her husband, Ken, have three children and six grandchildren.

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