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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s next governor will have a pivotal role in deciding a long-running dispute over the water and profits from the Yadkin River, which have been generated by dams run by Alcoa Inc. for generations.

The governor taking office next year could make Alcoa’s path to a new license for up to 50 years easy. Or the newcomer could resist like previous Govs. Mike Easley and Beverly Perdue.

Candidates for the May 8 primary told The Associated Press how they would handle the dispute.

The three leading contenders among the six Democrats running for governor all oppose Alcoa’s license renewal.

Leading Republican contender Pat McCrory says he wants Alcoa to make good on promises made a half-century ago, and he wants the dams to produce low-cost energy that will draw jobs.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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