Dale Folwell’s new campaign: N.C. State Treasurer
By Dwight Sparks
The Clemmons Courier
He’s on a new mission, Dale Folwell, West Forsyth High of 1977, the student who once aspired be a motorcycle mechanic.
He still counts that early teenage training in a Clemmons bike shop as pivotal for his political career: He learned to fix things. His latest repair job was as leader of the state Division of Employment Security.
He turned a $2.6 billion deficit in the state’s unemployment insurance reserve into a $1 billion surplus. The legislative bill authorizing his task was authored and sponsored by N.C. Rep. Julia Howard, who represents Lewisville and Davie County.
His efforts won the praise of Gov. Pat McCrory. Folwell is the lone Republican candidate for Treasurer of North Carolina, considered by many to be the second most important job in state government. He will face one of the two Democratic candidates seeking to replace the retiring current treasurer, Janet Cowell. Folwell cherishes his reputation for fixing problems.
“I attack problems. I don’t attack people or other politicians. People want someone who can be trusted to conserve and somebody who knows how to fix stuff. You’ve got to be able to take things apart and fix them. I learned that taking motorcycles apart in Clemmons,” he said.
Former Clemmons mayor and former State House member W.C. “Bill” McGee is promoting Folwell’s campaign locally. Folwell carries a bowling pin with him on the campaign trail as a symbol of political reform. Some old wasteful ways have to be knocked over, he said.
“The campaign is going fantastically,” he said Friday in a stop at The Courier office. “It has been very exciting for lots of reasons. People want someone who does what they say they will do when they apply for the job. When you’re dealing with an open seat, people want someone who doesn’t change. I’m the same person when I was Speaker Pro Tem and when I was in the minority party and when I was assistant Secretary of Commerce.”
The state treasurer is a member of the State Board of Education, oversees state banking, oversees the local government commission’s issuing of debt, is responsible for the state health plan, which currently has a $30 billion unfunded debt.
The treasurer is also responsible for the state pension plan, the 10th largest pool of money in one place in USA. Currently at $90 billion dollars, the fund is three times lager than BB&T. “It’s a huge job,” Folwell said.