First up was our Democratic candidate of Register of Deeds: Connie Sue Cox
The first thing I noticed was Connie's warm smile. Okay, well maybe the second. If you don't know Connie, she's in a wheelchair; paralyzed after a horseback riding accident at Stone Mountain 17 years ago. She's been quoted as saying about the difficulties she's faced, "I now know there is nothing I can't accomplish. My legs are paralyzed, but my mind and heart are not." She is most interested in modernizing the office by getting many of the records online securely like most counties in the state do. "My mission is to proudly serve my home of Wilkes County and the great state of North Carolina, while bringing a fresh start, new ideas and progressive technology to the office of the Register of Deeds.”
Next to speak was Wilkes Board of Commissioners: Brandon Anderson
Brandon is a big man whose stature is only matched by the size of his heart. His warmth is felt instantly, and it comes as no surprise that Brandon is an ordained minister since the age of 17. He has worked for the NC Dept. of Public Safety for the past 8 years and volunteers extensively. He spoke of the importance of the need for our government to serve the least of us: Improving our schools for our children, re-establishing drug prevention programs in the schools, growing more youth programs like Communities in Schools, and the crucial need to improve spending for the county's Dept of Social Services, the Homeless Shelter, and increasing jobs within the county.
30th District NC Senate Seat: Michael Holleman
A teacher at North Middle School, Michael is no stranger to running for office. After a previous run, he admit he learned a lot in the process running against Shirley Randleman. One of the most eye-opening lessons he learned was the lengths to which the far-right would go to control the messaging that is put out at the local level. Outside ultra-conservative organizations like ALEC, John Locke Foundation, and others are not representing the will of the citizens of NC, and we need to take it back from the extreme forces at play.
94th District NC House of Representatives Seat: Mike Lentz
Previously he ran as an independent, but this election Mike returns to the Democratic party to win the seat back from Jeffrey Elmore. I had the honor of sitting at a table with Mike at the 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast, and we spoke about the rural Wilkes County of his youth; growing up poor, but not knowing you were poor because everyone around you was poor;...of working together because it was really about survival;...of reading the words of Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail for the first time and realizing how beautiful and powerful his words were. Mike is an unassuming man, but with a great deal of experience and a connection to Wilkes County that is very deep indeed.
All of these candidates promise to uphold the values of the Democratic Party and work to the betterment of Wilkes County. However, you might not hear a lot about them in the coming months. You see, none of these fine candidates are going to appear on the ballot in March because they are running unopposed within their party. So while the Republicans are fighting one another in the primary in March, our candidates will be waiting for their turn. However, they still need your willingness to listen to their message, your support through word and deed, and your commitment to vote for them in November. Please do!