State employees endorse Dale Folwell for N.C. Treasurer

Apr 19, 2016

The member-led political arm of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, EMPAC, has endorsed Dale Folwell for the office of state Treasurer in the November general election.

EMPAC’s statewide committee voted on Saturday to endorse Folwell. The committee held a forum featuring all three primary candidates for treasurer in February. In addition to Folwell, EMPAC has already endorsed Linda Coleman for Lieutenant Governor, and will likely make more endorsements for statewide races at its July meeting.

SEANC sees the treasurer’s race as the most important election in the state. The state Treasurer essentially controls four times more money than the governor or the General Assembly as the sole fiduciary of the $90 billion Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System.

SEANC has been an outspoken critic of the fees paid to Wall Street with the fund, the lack of transparency with fund investments and the current treasurer’s tendency to invest in risky hedge funds. Proper management of the fund would mean more money on Main Street than Wall Street, and would benefit all taxpayers.

The treasurer also serves as an ex-officio member of the State Health Plan Board of Trustees and proposes changes to the plan annually that have a direct impact on active and retired employees’ personal finances.

EMPAC is committed to endorsing candidates based on issues, not party politics. Committee members cited the Republican Folwell’s wealth of knowledge of the issues facing the State Health Plan and his outspoken independence on retirement issues as key to the endorsement.

“Dale Folwell has the experience to manage our members’ retirement funds wisely,” said Statewide EMPAC Chairman Tony Smith. “It concerned us when his opponent indicated he thought the current status quo of management of the retirement system was acceptable. We feel confident that Folwell will operate the office for North Carolina and not for Wall Street.”