Elaine F. Marshall (D) and Michael LaPaglia (R) are both running for the Secretary of State office, campaigning on platforms of economic improvement.
Incumbent Elaine Marshall is the first woman to be elected Secretary of State in North Carolina.
In 1981, Marshall returned to school to study law at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, and earned her Juris Doctor degree. Marshall is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, and the Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity.
Marshall was first elected to public office in 1992 as a member of the North Carolina Senate representing the 15th Senate District. In 1996, she ran for the post of NC Secretary of State against Republican and former stock car racer Richard Petty. She won the election by a margin of 53 percent to 45 percent, and became the first woman elected to a statewide executive office in NC history. Marshall has won reelection three times, and in 2008, she received the second highest vote total of any candidate in North Carolina.
Marshall’s campaign has largely focused on economic opportunity, creating an environment favorable for business. She has also attacked counterfeit trademarked goods and worked to protect elder citizens against fraud.
“Customer service is my priority for our office that serves all citizens without regard to if it’s a single individual or a national corporation,” Marshall stated on her website, “I’m proud that we’ve been honored by organizations as diverse as the US Chamber of Commerce, Common Cause, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, UL Laboratories, NFL, NHL, Triangle Business Journal, and NAWBO.”
Marshall has been credited with bringing her office into the technological age by introducing e-commerce and providing online registration for lobbyists and businesses. Her work has been recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Notary Association, and Campbell University. In 2007, Marshall served as president of the National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council, an organization of public and private sector leaders whose aim is to identify technology practices that make government agencies more efficient, and modernize government services.
Marshall’s opponent for this election cycle is Republican Michael LaPaglia, who defeated AJ Daoud in the March 15 Republican primary.
LaPaglia graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in political science in 1994, and began working as a consultant at LaPaglia & Associates, eventually becoming the firm’s vice president in 1998. In 2008, LaPaglia became the Chief Executive Officer of LaPaglia & Associates.
LaPaglia is running on a platform of small government in that only entrepreneurs and businesses can create jobs. According to LaPaglia’s website, he hopes to win so he can “…retire the most liberal statewide official in North Carolina!”
LaPaglia’s campaign largely focuses on reducing unnecessary regulation to encourage business growth, citing his history in the business world as experience.
“We need a conservative in the Secretary of State’s office that will work to get government out of the way and allow North Carolina’s entrepreneurs and businesses owners to thrive,” LaPaglia stated on his official website.”
LaPaglia and Marshall will both be on the November election ballot.