Weatherman, Boliek prepare for general election

The GOP candidates won their respective run-offs last week

Dave Boliek, who won the Republican nomination for state auditor in a run-off last week, speaks at a Roxboro rally in January. (Chris Seward / AP Photo)

RALEIGH —Hal Weatherman and Dave Boliek won their May 14 second primary runoff contests for lieutenant governor and state auditor, respectively, and now look ahead to November’s general election.

While the results are still unofficial, Weatherman, the chief of staff for former Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, defeated Forsyth District Attorney Jim O’Neill with more than 74% of the vote. Weatherman won every county except for O’Neill’s home county.

Weatherman will now face Democrat state Sen. Rachel Hunt in November. Hunt is the daughter of former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt.

Boliek, a member of the UNC Board of Trustees, defeated Jay Clark with more than 53% of the vote.

Boliek will face Democrat Jessica Holmes, a former Wake County commissioner who was appointed to state auditor earlier this year by Gov. Roy Cooper after Beth Wood resigned following her indictment related to a 2022 hit-and-run accident that occurred while she was driving a state-owned vehicle.

Weatherman said he hasn’t had a weekend off in 16 months but he’s “not going to take his foot off the gas.”

“I think general elections, by definition, are a choice,” Weatherman said of facing Hunt. “You have a choice as a voter. What direction do you want to go? And so the burden is on the candidates themselves to spell out those differences. And I will run a positive campaign. I don’t believe in negative campaigning.”

Weatherman said serving served two terms with Forest means he has no learning curve and plans to make Hunt compete on her record.

“I will force her to compete in the world of ideas, her ideas, her worldview, her values, her ideals versus mine in all 100 counties,” said Weatherman. “I will not allow the race to be dictated by just a handful of big counties. I will not do that. I will force her to defend her record and her positions in all 100 counties or yield the ground.”

He added he will run “a compare-and-contrast” campaign.

“I trust the people of the state. I trust that I’m more in line with their values, their ideals with their struggles and their anxieties right now,” said Weatherman. “And I just don’t see that from her or her party right now. I see them completely 100% out of touch with the average person in today’s world, the things they are concerned with, the things they lift up.”

He added “people are sick” of the Democrat Party and how it divides people and sets them against each other.

While Weatherman believes Hunt’s campaign will focus on abortion, he highlighted worries about the economy and people struggling to make ends meet as the most important issues.

“That’s all she’ll talk about; when I talk about the high price of gas, she’ll talk about abortion,” Weatherman said. “When I talk about the high cost of insurance and the high cost of living, she’ll talk about abortion.”

Like Weatherman, Boliek also crisscrossed the state during primary season. He told North State Journal that he racked up at least 6,000 miles on his car hitting every meeting and event he could.

“Election night is like most election nights: There’s a lot of anticipation and we felt good about the campaign that we ran,” said Boliek. “We win or lose. We really felt like we had run not only a thorough and professional campaign but that we had left everything on the field.”

Boliek said he is committed to telling his story to the voters so they know where he comes from, who he is and what his thought processes are related to the auditor’s office role.

Boliek jokingly described spending election night at home with his wife and children “constantly refreshing the state Board of Elections website.”

Boliek said the financial and compliance components of audits are the “bread and butter” of the auditor’s office, and he would be taking a look at state government agencies and asking, “How can we serve the taxpayer and the citizens of North Carolina better?”

Should he win in November, Boliek said looking at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would be a priority. He said he wants to see what kind of return on investment taxpayers are getting out of the DMV and how certain projects in the state are being funded, who is receiving state funds for projects and how the money is spent.

“That’s the question we want answered; What’s the return on investment?” said Boliek. “Because if we’re not getting a return on investment, then the auditor needs to have the courage and the professionalism to not just give a numbers result on an audit.”

Boliek pointed to his time on the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees’ audit and risk management committee as well as his fiduciary experience serving as chair and head of the University Foundation and Universities Endowment, which oversees billions of dollars in private money.

Boliek, like Holmes, holds a law degree, but he also has a master’s in business administration and relevant class work in auditing and finance.

“I think in the fall there’s going to be a real line of demarcation between myself and the current appointed auditor with respect to what type of professional background and level of experience not only dealing with people but dealing with having to make really tough decisions in high profile areas,” said Boliek.

About A.P. Dillon 1308 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_