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The Political Career of W. Kerr ScottThe Squire from Haw River$
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Julian M. Pleasants

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813146775

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813146775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 30 May 2020

The Referendum

The Referendum

(p.110) (p.111) 5 The Referendum
The Political Career of W. Kerr Scott

Julian M. Pleasants

University Press of Kentucky

The road and school bond issues had to be decided by a public referendum, and, since there was some significant opposition to the road bonds, Scott established a statewide, nonprofit citizens committee, Better Schools and Roads, Inc., to persuade North Carolinians to embrace his vision. He launched a personal campaign by traveling throughout the state explaining why the bond issues should be approved. The state needed to make an investment in its infrastructure and in its people if it were to ever make progress economically. He lashed out at the petroleum industry when it denounced the bond issue and criticized urban areas because they disliked the bond money going to secondary roads. He won a smashing victory when the school bond passed by a two-to-one margin and the road bond passed by a comfortable margin. Scott lived up to his campaign promises by selecting women for state boards and chose Suzie Sharp as the first women superior court judge in North Carolina. He put pressure on telephone and power companies to string electric and telephone lines in rural areas and intervened, unsuccessfully, in the Hart Mill textile workers strike. He continued to make critical and intemperate remarks about business leaders and civic clubs who rejected his agenda.

Keywords:   Women in government, Suzie Sharp, Road and school bond referendum, Better Schools and Roads, Inc., Hart Mill strike

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