Democrat Coleman to run again for North Carolina lieutenant governor after narrow 2012 defeat

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — Democrat Linda Coleman announced Wednesday that she'll try again to become North Carolina's lieutenant governor after losing narrowly to Republican Dan Forest in 2012.

Coleman, a former state House member, Wake County commissioner and state government personnel office director under then-Gov. Beverly Perdue, said in a news release that she's "battle tested and ready to go to bat for the middle class and to create jobs for our future."

Forest defeated Coleman by 6,858 votes out of nearly 4.4 million cast. She decided against seeking a statewide recount in part because it wouldn't likely change the outcome, she said at the time.

Coleman said Forest backs an "ideological agenda" carried out by the legislature that's harming public education, middle-class families and women's access to health care.

The lieutenant governor is the No. 2 leader in the executive branch, presides over the state's Senate and serves on state education boards. The job has few other inherent powers.

"I cannot sit by silently while we watch years of North Carolina's progress upended by the lieutenant governor and the Republican General Assembly," Coleman said. She put out a fundraising email plea within minutes of her candidate announcement.

Forest is seeking re-election and is already campaign fundraising. Forest campaign spokesman Hal Weatherman didn't respond directly to Coleman's criticisms, saying in an email "we look forward to a re-election campaign with whomever the Democrat Party chooses as their nominee."

Coleman, 65, won the 2012 Democratic primary over then-state Sen. Eric Mansfield, benefiting in large part from outside spending from the State Employees Association of North Carolina and its national parent, the Service Employees International Union.

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