Welcome to PQ County Lt. Gov. Forest

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, the Republican candidate for governor in November, speaks to a group of about 70 area residents during a campaign event at Albemarle Plantation in Hertford last week.

HERTFORD — Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Dan Forest discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, economic issues and Gov. Roy Cooper’s recent vetoes of legislation during a meeting with area supporters last week.

Forest met with more than 70 people during a July 7 campaign fundraiser at Albemarle Plantation in Perquimans County. Attendees were from Perquimans, Pasquotank and Chowan counties.

Organized by Mary Cassidy, a local Republican, attendees included state Sen. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan; Perquimans County GOP Vice-Chairman Tim Brinn; retired Pennsylvania congressman Dick Schulze; and Chowan County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Patti Kersey.

Discussing the coronavirus, Forest said simply focusing on an increase in cases can be misleading when it comes to tracking the disease’s spread and mortality. As of Wednesday, state data show the respiratory disease has infected more than 91,000 North Carolinians and caused more than 1,500 deaths.

Forest said that people in high risk categories for COVID-19 need to be careful, but he also said there’s a lack of scientific evidence that children spread the disease. He said children should be in school.

Cooper, Forest’s opponent in the fall election, announced Tuesday that school will resume in North Carolina next year with a mix of in-person and online instruction. Cooper also said school districts may request to conduct online instruction only.

Forest also met with attendees to discuss their specific concerns and took questions from the audience.

Cassidy said she was very happy with the turnout and has plans to invite other candidates for top state offices to Perquimans.

“We are hoping to do another event for multiple Republican candidates, including lieutenant governor, attorney general and several judicial candidates,” she said. “We may wait until after Labor Day in order for it to cool down a bit and do perhaps a larger venue outdoors.”

Staff writer Miles Layton can be reached at mlayton@ncweeklies.com