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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walter Dalton has refused a roughly $1,500 pay increase that the lieutenant governor and other North Carolina Council of State members received in the new budget.

Dalton announced Tuesday he declined the 1.2 percent raise that took effect July 1. He said he felt obligated to do so since thousands of educator jobs have been eliminated and economic development funds have been cut.

Democrats have criticized Republican lawmakers for both.

His lieutenant governor salary will remain about $123,000. Dalton said he voluntary reduced his Senate salary in 2002 and pay for lieutenant governor in 2009.

He used Tuesday’s announcement to tweak Republican campaign rival Pat McCrory for refusing to release his tax returns and other financial information. The former Charlotte mayor said he’s complied with disclosure requirements.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

7/24/2012 12:48:01 PM (GMT -4:00)

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