WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After serving four terms as governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt returned to the Port City Tuesday night.
Hunt has turned a new chapter in his life and is promoting his new biography. He made a stop at the Pomegranate Bookstore to talk with old friends and sign books.
Hunt is no stranger to our area. Hunt says when he was governor he made it a priority to travel the state and meet new people and learn about the communities. It’s an attitude some would like to see in current Gov. Bev Perdue.
It’s a familiar face to the people of North Carolina and especially folks living in Wilmington. It’s the face of a man raised in the Tar Heel state, who quickly gained the trust of many North Carolinians. From the construction of I-40 to promoting the movie industry, Governor Hunt made it his mission to change North Carolina.
“The only reason I needed was because it was there,” said Hunt. “I was traveling around the state most all of the time because you need to get out and see the people. You need to see what their problems are what their needs are and you need to pull them all together to be this partnership to move the state ahead.”
It’s a different approach compared to current Perdue. In a brief interview Monday Perdue seemed not so motivated making her rounds in the Port City, saying to get her to visit Southeastern North Carolina more often, “Get me a reason.”
Hunt said a governor needs to be proactive.
“You can’t wait for them to come to you,” Hunt said. “You got to go to them, find out what their needs are, what their problems are and have some good ideas. Part of those come from the people and then get about the business of the people of being a pro-active leader.”
Gary Pearce, the author of Hunt’s biography, highlights not only Hunt’s successes but his weaknesses. After all Hunt says no one is perfect.
“The main lesson of the book if nothing else is in politics all victories and all defeats are temporary and we live in a very unstable and volatile period of politics in this country and have for a long time,” Pearce said. “I think you see that playing out now.”
Pearce said times have changed for sure, yet there are still some things that tend to get in the way of politicians — money, power and privilege. It’s something that got the best of former Gov. Mike Easley and even Perdue.
“That had begun when he was governor but that is really accelerated in the last 10 or 15 years and money is the root of all evil,” Pearce said.