Walter Dalton is running for Governor to move North Carolina forward. A proven leader who has been recognized nationally for his efforts to improve education and economic development, Walter Dalton will work to make sure North Carolina’s future is a bright one where quality education is the foundation for a strong economy.
Growing up to lead
Growing up in Rutherfordton in the foothills of Western North Carolina, Walter Dalton learned early on the importance of hard work, helping others, and community service. His dad, Charles, was an attorney and state senator who died when Walter was in elementary school. His mother raised Walter and his sister Laura, determined to give them all the opportunities she felt they deserved.
Walter embraced his parents’ lessons in leadership and determination, and worked hard in school, got good grades, and even quarterbacked the high school football team. After graduating from college he married his high school sweetheart, Lucille, and worked in banking. He returned to the University of North Carolina and earned a law degree in 1975. Married for 40 years, Walter and Lucille are the proud parents of two grown children, Elizabeth Dalton Robinson and Brian Dalton.
Walter Dalton ran a successful small business as the managing partner of a law firm, and served as county attorney for two decades. He was active in his community, chairing his local community college board of trustees and working to provide scholarships to deserving students, serving on boards for the Red Cross and helped create the Child Abuse Prevention Society. He is a lay speaker in the United Methodist Church.
In 1996, he was elected to the State Senate seat his father had held years before. Dalton served six terms in the Senate, representing a rural manufacturing district composed of Cleveland and Rutherford counties. In 2008, he won a four-way Democratic primary and, despite being outspent by his opponent 3-to-1, won the general election for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina by five points.
Better schools, better opportunities
In the Senate, Walter rose to lead the Education Committee, where he spearheaded efforts to raise teacher standards and pay, reduce class sizes, and increase accountability. He pushed to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to give North Carolina a competitive edge in the global economy, strengthened character education and school safety programs, and fought for additional funding for community colleges and universities.
Walter Dalton wrote the Innovative Education Act, which established the state’s early college system. Early colleges directly partner high schools with a higher education partner and provide a unique learning experience. Students enter in the ninth grade, and at the end of five years, they get a high school diploma, two years of college credit, or an associate’s degree. Early colleges up the rigor, prepare students to go directly into the workforce, and save parents money. The New York Times has said that North Carolina’s program is a “model for the nation.”
Helping businesses and working families
North Carolina’s business-friendly climate, its support of university research and higher education, and its highly skilled workforce are among the many assets that make our state a great place to live and do business.
Walter Dalton has helped businesses and working families endure tough economic times. He worked to create a loan fund so small businesses could keep their doors open. For displaced workers affected by the manufacturing decline, he fought to develop training programs to help them learn new skills for new jobs, and a foreclosure-protection plan to help them keep their homes.
Dalton established the JOBS (Joining Our Businesses and Schools) Commission, which partners businesses and schools to retool education programs to better fit an evolving job market. The program has been nationally recognized. He also chairs the Logistics Task Force, whose mission is to support employers and industries by improving the way people, goods and information move throughout the state.
NC at a crossroads
Today, Walter Dalton is running for Governor to move North Carolina forward. The Republican leadership has abandoned economic development, eliminated thousands of teacher jobs, cut financial aid, and slashed education from early childhood programs to the community colleges and universities. Their cuts are putting North Carolina on the wrong path.
Please join Walter Dalton in working to change that course. With your help and with your vote, we will modernize education and put teachers back to work and we'll put more technology in the classroom. With your help and with your vote, we'll protect and enhance our community college and university systems, and with your help and with your vote, we'll create 21st century jobs and build a better future for our state. Support Walter Dalton and move North Carolina forward.