2010 runoff endorsements

by Brian Clarey

A preponderance of candidates in this year’s primary elections — particularly on the Republican side of the ballot, due in no small part to Tea Party fervor — led to many close races in May, resulting in five runoff elections to be held Tuesday, June 22.

Our endorsements for these contests, for the most part, remain unchanged.

In the biggest race of the year — the quest for a Democrat to take the US Senate seat currently held by Richard Burr — we remain supporters of NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall against Cal Cunningham. Cunningham’s running a good campaign and racking up key endorsements, but we still feel Marshall has the experience and temperament to do a better job. She also secured the endorsement of the third-place finisher Ken Lewis, which might be enough to keep her ahead of Cunningham next week.

We still like newspaper publisher Bernie Reeves against challenger Bill Randall in the US House District 13 Republican runoff, and not just because he’s in the same business as we are — since the May 2 primary, it has been discovered that Randall plagiarized much of his campaign material, including platform and position statements. Reeves remains an original piece of work.

Our choice for the US House District 13 Republican primary, William Gillenwater, didn’t make it out of the primary, and neither of his two challengers actually live in the district currently presided over by Democrat Mel Watt. We’re going with Scott Cumbie, who as a Winston- Salem resident lives somewhat nearby, though he’s not likely to topple Watt in the general election in one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the state.

There is but a single runoff for the Forsyth County Commission on the Republican side of the at-large seat. Our initial endorsement, Mark Baker, did not survive the primary and of the two who did — Bill Whiteheart and Jonathan Mark Corts — only one remains in the race: Corts dropped out shortly after the election. So only Whiteheart remains to challenge incumbent Ted Kaplan in the fall, regardless of our input.

In Guilford County, the only runoff election will determine who faces longtime incumbent Sheriff BJ Barnes, who had become a political machine in his own right.

Our initial endorsement went to Harlan Costner, a former friend of the sheriff with an axe to grind, but he’s off the ballot next week, leaving former State Highway Patrolman Phil Wadsworth and former Thomasville police Officer CB Goins to square off. We’re going with Wadsworth, the Pleasant Garden resident, though his positions are nearly indistinguishable from the incumbent, because he looks to us like the only one who can present a challenge to Barnes, and that he could fill his shoes ably if by some fluke he happens to win.

YES! Weekly chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration