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UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees member officially running for state auditor


UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees member officially running for state auditor

Sep 21, 2023 | 4:15 pm ET
By Joe Killian
UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees member officially running for state auditor
Dave Boliek, member and former chairman of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. (Image: Boliek campaign photo)

It’s official: Dave Boliek, member and former chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, is running for the GOP nomination for State Auditor.

As Newsline reported earlier this month, Boliek changed his voter registration from Democratic to Republican in June as he was considering a run for auditor — his first for public office. On Thursday, Boliek confirmed his decision to run to Newsline and launched his campaign website.

“I don’t think my story as a North Carolina Democrat is that abnormal,” Boliek told Newsline. “I have migrated to the Republican Party because I feel like the Democratic Party in North Carolina has left me behind.”

A fiscal conservative who considers himself culturally traditional and deeply religious, Boliek said he increasingly felt more affinity with Republicans than Democrats for at least a decade.

“I don’t believe that one political party or one particular individual has a monopoly on good ideas,” Boliek said. “I do believe, though, that in North Carolina right now I certainly align more consistently in individual beliefs and political beliefs and fiscal policy with the Republican Party. I don’t align with the platform of the Democratic Party in a fiscal sense, a moral sense and an ideals sense.”

The official bio on Boliek’s campaign website does not mention his decades as a Democrat, including his work helping to elect former Democratic state Auditor Ralph Campbel in the early ’90s or his working for former Democratic Insurance Commissioner Jim Long. It does highlight his work as Assistant District Attorney in Cumberland County and his work on UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, where he was appointed by the state’s GOP legislative majority and often voted with the board’s more conservative members.

Critics, including prominent faculty members at the university, told Newsline that Boliek’s run calls into question his work on the board and whether the decisions he made in his tenure there were a dry run for a Republican political primary rather than an attempt to represent the best interests of the university.

While filing doesn’t open until December, Boliek already faces a potentially crowded field for the GOP nomination for auditor. Former Greensboro City Council member Jim Kee, Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch, Wake County businessman Charles Dingee and A.J. Daoud, former state lottery commissioner, have all declared their intention to run for the nomination. Kee and Upchurch are, like Boliek, Democrats turned Republicans. Dingee and Daoud have longer and deeper connections to the state Republican party.

Conservative candidates are lining up to take on Auditor Beth Wood, sensing the Democrat’s re-election campaign may be hampered by a March conviction for misdemeanor hit-and-run.