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Perdue, Moore don't attend debate in Wilmington

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WILMINGTON (AP) -- The absence of the two main Democratic candidates for governor was one of the main topics of a debate in Wilmington. The Star-News reported that both Republican and Democratic candidates criticized State Treasurer Richard Moore and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue for not participating in the debate Thursday night. Democratic candidate Dennis Nielsen was flanked by two empty chairs as he spoke. Nielsen took the stage after four of the five GOP hopefuls spoke. Not attending was Sampson County farmer Elbie Powers. The four candidates gave similar proposals about education and fixing mental health programs. The four GOP candidates who participated are former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, Salisbury attorney Bill Graham and state Sen. Fred Smith. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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