The Wilmington Star-News endorsed Hampton Dellinger today.
A bit on how experience in the top levels of the executive branch dealing with real policy and issues as well as developing a forward-thinking vision for the state make Hampton the best pick for Lt. Governor:
Qualifications matter, because in the unlikely event that something happens to the governor, the lieutenant is first in line to step in.
On the Democratic side, that person should be Hampton Dellinger, who worked as a deputy attorney general and legal counsel to Gov. Mike Easley before joining one of the state's most prestigious law firms (he left the practice last year). While at the attorney general's office, he worked on cases involving insurance, environmental issues and the tobacco settlement. Beyond his ample qualifications, he projects charisma, confidence and a vision of what North Carolina could be. Favorite issues include open government, low tuition and ethical cleansing for the N.C. Board of Transportation.
Interesting note: They rolled out all their other endorsements (other council of state offices, governor, local race) in the preceding days, but saved Barack Obama and Hampton Dellinger till the big Sunday reading day right before Election Day. I think they feel strongly about Hampton...and Obama, of course :-)
Also interesting how they took Dalton's main selling point--his ability to successfully serve as Governor in an emergency--and turned it on its head, saying Hampton would actually be best suited for that. Nothing that BlueNC readers and bloggers didn't already know.
This endorsement comes on the heels of endorsements by the Independent Weekly and the Charlotte Observer which enthusiastically pointed to Dellinger as the best candidate for the state's number two job.