06/25/2010 11:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Renewing Our Commitment to the Forgotten Men and Women

As you know, last night the Senate dropped the ball again on extending unemployment benefits for the millions of people struggling just to get by in this recession. I wrote a few weeks ago, that Washington is showing a "disturbing lack of compassion" for the people they represent. We've got over 400,000 unemployed men and women right here in North Carolina, but Richard Burr stood in lock-step with Washington Republicans, voting for partisanship and against unemployment protections. He couldn't run fast enough to the aid of his big money supporters in Wall Street when he bailed them out, but when it's time to help everyday Americans he turns his back on them.

After 16 years in Washington, he just doesn't get it -- our state is hurting. But the unemployed don't have lobbyists, and they don't make campaign contributions. In Richard Burr's Washington that means they can't buy a seat at the table, let alone be afforded the respect of an up or down vote on the Senate floor.

That's just wrong -- and it's why I'm running for United States Senate in North Carolina!

North Carolina needs a different kind of leader with the right kind of experience.

I'm proud of my record of being an advocate on behalf of ordinary Americans.

I led the fight to pass serious lobbying reform in North Carolina when few said it could be done. As Secretary of State, I took the fight to Wall Street and helped return hundreds of millions of dollars to investors scammed by banks and financial institutions. In the past I've battled insurance companies and fought to ensure they were required to cover mammograms and pap smears.

That's a record I'm proud to stand on.

On Tuesday I officially became the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.

The conventional wisdom tells me to lay low and run right. But we're not gonna win this thing by shrinking away from any fights, or hiding who we are. I'll make clear to the voters of North Carolina where I stand, and how my vote would be different. Starting right now.

So in the aftermath of yet another failure to extend unemployment benefits, I call on Washington to join me in renewing a commitment to the forgotten men and women in this country who desperately need help.

If they don't, and the smart money says they won't, then the only thing left to do is shake up the United States Senate. Because we can't keep sending the same people to Washington and expect a different result.

Thank you.