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5 Republican candidates for NC governor hold final debate

ASHEVILLE (AP) -- Five Republican candidates for North Carolina held their final debate in Asheville, with at least two emphasizing their connections to western North Carolina. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Salisbury lawyer Bill Graham promised to pay attention to every part of the state, including the western part. Former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr mentioned being a native of the region. Asked to describe each other's greatest weaknesses and strengths, the candidates followed state Sen. Fred Smith's lead and skipped the weaknesses. But Smith, a Johnston County developer, even delivered his praise with an edge, saying he would choose Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory to sell his houses. McCrory responded by stressing salesmanship as a strength. Sampson County pecan farmer Elbie Powers called for a state-run health insurance company and for the state to bottle its own water and sell it. North Carolina's primary will be held Tuesday. --- Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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