Secretary of State candidate engages with students

A Republican candidate for any office lobbying on Guilford’s campus seems quite unlikely, or so it would seem.

Guilford College, a place that can look more like a hippie commune resembling Hogwarts well enough to make Harry Potter proud, is thought to have a more liberal political makeup than not.

Regardless, on March 22, the Guilford College Republicans hosted a talk by Mike Beitler, former University of North Carolina at

Greensboro business professor running in the Republican primaries for the North Carolina Secretary of State.

If he wins the nomination, Beitler will run against incumbent Elaine Marshall. Marshal, the first woman elected to a statewide executive office in North Carolina, has held her position as Secretary of State for the past 16 years.

The library at Frank Science Center served as the close-knit setting where a small group of students listened to Beitler’s views and principles. Beitler told students the ability to bring business to North Carolina and make the state more sought-after motivated his bid for Secretary of State.

“One thing Secretary of State can do is take away a lot of the useless regulatory stuff that has nothing to do with protecting workers rights,” said Beitler.

Beitler said that politicians love to take money from citizens through taxes and give it away to businesses under the guise of creating jobs, which Beitler told The Guilfordian will be put to a stop should he win the election.

“Politicians like saying they are creating jobs while using tax payers’ money to promote them; it’s a sleight of hand,” said Beitler. “They took it from the community and give it to a company that created jobs, which is seen. The real question is what’s unseen. Taking from the small business and North Carolinians, that’s not spoken about much.”

Beitler told the group of students that even when cities offer big corporations tax incentives, usually companies come back in a few years and threaten to move to other areas if more concessions aren’t given.

“There should be no reason that we are not competitive through taxes and regulations,” said Beitler. “Lowering state regulations that are unnecessary is a smarter way of doing things than offering temporary incentives.”

Senior political science major and Guilford College Republicans President T. Patrick Lanier told The Guilfordian that Beitler asked to come and speak to Guilford College Republicans, an offer that was greeted with warm regards.

“We’ve hosted a mayor, candidates and members of the N.C. legislature, and U.S. Congressman Howard Coble, as well as major figures in the Guilford County Republican Party like Al Bouldin,” said Lanier. “So when Beitler asked, I said yes.”

Associate Professor of Political Science Kyle Dell told The Guilfordian that Guilford tries to promote inviting candidates and elected officials of all political stripes to campus, from Hillary Clinton to Colin Powell, so allowing a Republican candidate to come to the College was not an exception to any rule.

“Many people see these more administrative state offices in less partisan terms,” said Dell. “So the election can be decided more on name recognition and visibility than on traditional partisan terms.”
Beitler said that Dell’s line of thought wasn’t the necessarily case in this race.

“I think that there will be some partisan politics played during this race,” said Beitler. “However, I think that people should look across partisan lines and see that we need change in North Carolina.”

Beitler, who ran in 2010 as a Libertarian for U.S. Senate, recently rejoined the Republican Party and has spent much of the last several months touring the state and gauging support for his candidacy.

“I’m interested in knowing what college students are talking about, and finding jobs is something on college students’ minds,” said Beitler. “This is something the Secretary of State has to do with.”

Randy Doss, vice president of admissions, told The Guilfordian that having candidates from both sides of the aisle visiting Guilford is what the college is all about, even if there’s the assumption that Guilford’s makeup is more liberal than not.

“I hope we will never be known as a ‘we are open and tolerant as long as you agree with me’ type of institution,” said Doss.