2012 YES! Weekly primary election voter guide
You can believe the hype from both major political parties: This year’s election is the most pivotal in decades, both nationally and in North Carolina. It will determine whether Obama holds the White House or the conservative backlash of 2009 gains traction.
In our state, an open contest is underway to determine who will serve as our governor for the next two years. Gov. Bev Perdue’s decision to stand down opens up a competitive Democratic primary. With the Republicans having taken control of both houses of the state legislature in 2010, voters this year will decide whether they will consolidate control by taking over the governor’s mansion or the Democrats will retain a check on their power through the executive branch. And the Republicans in control of the General Assembly redrew district lines for state Senate, state House and congressional seats, exiling and double-bunking long-serving Democrats, and creating new districts favorable to their party. The result is a bumper crop of new candidates with viable shots at office in an era of significant turnover in leadership.
Voters have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to vet the quality of local leaders who will likely represent them for years to come. Virtually all of the 16 state Senate and House districts in Guilford and Forsyth counties lean heav- ily in favor of one or the other of the two political parties, so the May 8 primary is the critical test — far more important than the general election in November. In November, voters can expect a tightly contested and spirited race between the eventual Democratic and Republican nominees for governor. And North Carolina is expected to be a critical swing state in the presidential contest between Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney — comparable to the roles played by Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000. There are also important county commission and judicial seats up for grabs in Guilford and Forsyth counties, and a handful of school board seats in contention in Guilford.
These are important elections that determine the quality and competency of local leadership. And in Guilford County the Republican-controlled General Assembly imposed a redistricting plan on the county commission, which has been dominated by Democrats for the past two decades. The new plan has the potential to bring about a political realignment in Guilford. At the very least the redistricting plan created a new seat and made others more competitive. And Guilford County voters who were previously in the 13 th Possibly the most important reason to show up for this primary is a proposed amendment to the state Congressional District will find that they have been shifted into either the 6th Congressional District or constitution that would make marriage between a man and a woman “the only domestic legal union that the 12th Congressional District — more reason to study the ballot closely before showing up to vote. th Possibly the most important reason to show up for this primary is a proposed amendment to the state Congressional District will find that they have been shifted into either the 6th Congressional District or constitution that would make marriage between a man and a woman “the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”
The outcome of this ballot initiative will signal to the rest of the world what kind of state North Carolina is in terms of social justice or family values (take your pick), business growth and tolerance. Approval of the amendment also could create legal confusion for the courts as it pertains to domestic violence protections for people in unmarried relationships. Visit our online voting guide at triadpolitics.info to research the candidates who will appear on your ballot. You can follow a link to look up your voter registration and then pull a sample ballot. Do your homework and make sure the candidates who get your vote will truly represent you.
Remember: Your vote is sacred; don’t sell it or give it away.
US president, Republican
• Noted: A former US House speaker, Gin- grich was the last conservative standing in this race, and had been popping up around North Carolina to harass the frontrunner, but bowed out last week and is expected to endorse Mitt Romney.
• Noted: The libertarian-leaning congressman has homemade campaign signs around Guilford County, evidence of the depth of his supporters’ passion, but isn’t really considered a factor in the primary at this point.
• Noted: The presumptive frontrunner at this governor of Massachusetts, but can be expected point, Romney has spent much of the campaign to tack back to the center now that he’s all but thus far running away from his liberal record as governor of Massachusetts, but can be expected to tack back to the center now that he’s all but sewn up the primary.
• Noted: The candidate who really fired up the Republican Party’s base, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, has suspended his campaign.
US president, Libertarian
• Noted: Not much to distinguish this candidate other than his service on the San Antonio River Authority and his digs at fellow Texan Rick Perry.
• Noted: This guy dropped out of the presi- dential race to run for Congress from a district in Oklahoma. Don’t vote for him.
• Noted: A former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson is the best known presidential candidate on the Libertarian ballot.
• Noted: A vote for this candidate is a vote to end the Federal Reserve, deregulate gambling and repeal the Patriot Act.
• Noted: A Quaker and former newspa- per editor, this candidate migrated from the Democrats to the Republicans from the 1970s to the 2000s, detouring to join Ross Perot’s independent movement in the 1990s. Author of New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies and other books.
• Noted: Another Texan, Wrights is not only an anti-war candidate but he also bucks current fervor for clamping down on immigration
• Noted: At 90, Blackmon is the oldest can- didate for governor. He has a plan for a tax-free future that involves investing 5 percent of state lottery funds in a growth endowment fund.
Walter H. Dalton
• Noted: Currently serving as lieutenant governor, Dalton is a political moderate with strong credentials on education who is widely considered the strongest Democratic contender to go up against presumed Republican nominee Pat McCrory in November.
Gary M. Dunn
• Noted: The candidate stunned an audience at a Greensboro candidate forum on April 25 by responding to a question about job creation by saying, “I plan to do absolutely nothing.” Followed by: “It’s not the responsibility of our schools to educate our kids.”
• Noted: An establishment Democrat, Etheridge was considered a shoo-in for reelection for his 2nd Congressional District seat two years ago until an outburst against two young right-wing provocateurs became a YouTube sensation. He has solid experience in education, going back to his time on the Harnett County Commission in the 1970s and two terms as superintendent of public instruction for the state.
• Noted: A state representative from Orange County, Faison is one of the three candidates, along with Dalton and Etheridge, with solid political experience. Among the three, he’s the only one who was running before Gov. Bev Perdue stepped aside. He has also taken the strongest stance against fracking.
Gardenia M. Henley
• Noted: A retired auditor for the US Agency for International Development, Henley ran unsuccessfully for NC House two years ago, but made more waves calling attention to alleged abuses in management and oversight at the Forsyth County Board of Elections.
• Noted: Fayetteville resident Jim Harney claims to be the “only candidate who has denounced Agenda 21.” Never heard of Agenda 21? That probably means you’re part of the conspiracy. (Actually, Paul Wright opposes it, too. Whatever it is.)
Scott A. Jones
• Noted: Jones first came to our attention when he challenged incumbent BJ Barnes in the 2010 Guilford County sheriff’s race with a charge of assaulting a deputy hanging over him. (He was acquitted criminally — and politically defeated.)
Now, it appears he’s set his sights even higher.
• Noted: Lincoln County construction company owner Jim Mahan said he wants to bring prayer back to public schools and considers any domestic relationship other than marriage between a man and a woman to be “an adventure.”
• Noted: A straight-down-the-line ultra conservative, Wright supports the marriage amendment, favors an amendment declaring personhood to begin at conception, and wants to follow the Arizona and Alabama models for cracking down on illegal immigration. He favors drug testing for welfare recipients and requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls.
District 5, Democrat
(parts of Forsyth County)
• Noted: Elisabeth Motsinger earned her
reputation for progressive activism the honest way – by getting arrested during a civil disobedience in Washington, DC against the Keystone XL pipeline last year. She hopes her next trip to Washington will be courtesy of the voters of District 5, stretching from Forsyth County west to Watauga County. She also has some governing experience under her belt as a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board since 2006.
• Noted: A dentist from Pfafftown, Peller’s platform aligns closely with Motsinger’s, including his support for a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented residents and opposition to the marriage amendment. While taking solid progressive positions, he values listening respectfully to all viewpoints.
District 6, Republican
(parts of Guilford County)
Howard Coble (i)
• Noted: Coble has been in Congress longer than one of our staff writers has been alive. He’s a reliable conservative vote, and is known for his constituent services. And while the 81-year-old lawmaker has experienced some health challenges in the past couple years, his wit and charm remain undiminished.
• Noted: A former radio personality at Rush Radio, Flynn emceed the 2010 Tea Party Tax Day rally hosted by Conservatives for Guilford County. Flynn calls himself the firebrand in the race, but on the issues it’s hard to find any daylight between him and Coble.
• Noted: Former Charlotte mayor (and Guilford County native) Pat McCrory was defeated by Bev Perdue in the 2008 gubernatorial race, and has been running ever since. He has no serious opposition in this race.
Charles Kenneth Moss
• Noted: The 73-year-old Moss’ political experience consists of a term or two on the Randolph County Soil & Water Board. “If somebody asks me something, I’ll tell ’em like it is,” he says. “And if they don’t like it, you know, that’s their problem.
• Noted: A well-driller by trade, Yow has blazed a colorful reputation in his three terms on the Guilford County Commission for his folksy and blunt communication style. He angered many when he held up a shirt during a county commission meeting showing the character Calvin urinating on the letters “NAACP.” He’s also shown streaks of common sense, such as his advocacy of a sales tax in 2008 to pay for school construction.
District 12, Democrat
(parts of Forsyth and Guilford counties)
Mel Watt (i)
• Noted: A lawyer with roots in Charlotte’s political scene dating back to the civil rights movement, Watt has represented the serpentine 12th Congressional District since 1993 as a reliably liberal if often cautious liberal voice.
• Noted: The 32-year-old Newton emerged from the occupy movement. He supports the repeal of Taft-Hartley, which enables North Carolina’s right-towork law, while challenging Watt on his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Council of state
• Noted: As director of state personnel under Gov. Bev Perdue and a former officeholder in the NC House and Wake County Commission, Coleman is taking traditional route to the Office of Lieutenant Governor. And judging by endorsements from the AFL-CIO and the Simkins PAC she’s built strong relationships within the party.
• A one-term state senator from Fayetteville, Mansfield won the endorsement of The Independent Weekly in Durham for “smart, forceful and persuasive” arguments against Republican bills to curb women’s reproductive rights, to defund public education and repeal the Racial Justice Act.
• Noted: North Carolina politicians don’t come much more conservative than Folwell, a Forsyth County lawmaker who sponsored the legislation to put the marriage amendment on the ballot and advocates requiring parents to declare whether their child is a citizen before enrolling them in school.
• Noted: Forest wants North Carolina to opt out of the individual mandate under Obamacare. Other positions on immigration, voter ID and charter schools are standard Republican positions.
• Noted: Gurley is looking to make a jump from Wake County Commission to the lieutenant governor’s office, and he wants the state budget process to be handled in a more transparent fashion.
• Noted: A lawyer in Mooresville, Mills has been active with his local chamber of commerce and county Republican organization for more than a decade and has served two terms in the NC House.
Arthur Jason Rich
• Noted: Raised on a family farm in Bladen County, Rich says he started helping out with the tobacco harvest at the age of 5. A self-described “workaholic,” he promotes something called “bootstrap job development.”
Joseph Hank DeBragga
• Noted: A Greensboro native, DeBragga has worked as an internal auditor for the NC Health and Human Services Department. His resume also includes work on a turnaround team to help small, struggling hospitals.
• Noted: A down-east Republican with a background in security, Dority’s is a familiar name on the ballot having run for lieutenant governor once and Congress at least twice.
• Noted: Goldman was elected to the Wake County School Board as part of the tea party wave of 2009. She pledges to “crack down on the numerous public financial scandals and reports of fiscal mismanagement.”
• Noted: Shubert cites as her proudest accomplishment as helping Marshville recover almost $500,000 when she proved that Union County was systematically overcharging the town. Maybe that’s why she’s endorsed by both the left-leaning Independent Weekly and Conservatives for Guilford County.
• Noted: The candidate currently serves as mayor of Hickory. He’s called out opponent Dority for saying that he was encouraged to run by state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes, implying an endorsement that isn’t necessarily there.
Commissioner of agriculture, Democrat
• Noted: A Chatham County livestock farmer, Bryant faults the current administration for allowing an employee to keep their job after tipping off a turkey processing plant about a law enforcement action.
• Noted: A Yadkin County poultry farmer, Smith looks straight out of central casting as a rural New Dealer of the 1950s. He raps Republican incumbent Steve Troxler for failing to assess fines for propane tank safety violations.
Commissioner of agriculture, Republican
Steve Troxler (i)
• Noted: A Browns Summit resident, Troxler is the first Republican ever elected commissioner of agriculture. The fact that his Democratic predecessor, Meg Scott Phipps, wound up in federal prison couldn’t have hurt. Among the accomplishments of his first two terms, Troxler notes that the Department of Agriculture has opened an office in Beijing and the state exports $3 billion worth of products.
• Noted: The challenger aligns himself with the Tea Party Patriots and warns his opponent will lose to a Democrat if he survives the primary because of “public safety problems, incompetent financial management and ethical concerns.” His website posts links to news stories to make his point.
Commissioner of insurance,
• Noted: Guilford County farmer Mike Causey was suspended by the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market for repeatedly selling produce he did not grow himself without a variance, and now operates his own market. He’s also a registered lobbyist who has promoted legal recognition for alternative medicine practices.
• Noted: An owner of two insurance agencies in Mooresville and Cornelius respectively, Mc- Call’s primary platform appears to be that he’s not a Democrat.
• Noted: A former NC House member, Morgan shared power as “co-speaker” with Democrat Jim Black in 2003. Morgan was defeated in 2006 by a candidate backed by Art Pope and Black went to prison soon thereafter. Morgan’s been trying to get back into politics ever since with unsuccessful runs for superintendent of public instruction and NC Senate.
Commissioner of labor,
John C. Brooks
• Note: There’s no doubt that Brooks has the experience: He held the job from 1977 to 1993, but the deadly 1991 Hamlet chicken processing plant fire took place on his watch. Ironically, he holds a reputation as a strong advocate for stronger enforcement of safety standards for workers.
• Noted: Although Foster currently hails from Raleigh, his time in Winston-Salem shows with endorsements by Mayor Allen Joines, Councilwoman Molly Leight, state Sen. Linda Garrou, state Rep. Earline Parmon, the Winston-Salem Journal and 2008 candidate Mary Fant Donnan.
• Noted: Like Brooks, Richardson ran for the office in 2008, but fell short in his primary. His website talks about a “Workers’ Bill of Rights” and “business rights,” but doesn’t explain the meaning of either.
Secretary of state,
• Noted: A business professor at UNCG, Beitler ran for US Senate as a Libertarian. Both he and Democrat Elaine Marshall fell short of dislodging Republican incumbent Richard Burr. If Beitler survives his primary, he’ll be matched up against Marshall again. She currently holds the job of secretary of state.
• Noted: A Surry County funeral director, Daoud has said that, if elected, he will require companies to prove that their employees are legal citizens every time they file an annual report with his office.
• Noted: A former Wake County commissioner, Gardner pledges to use the office of secretary of state to bring jobs to North Carolina by reducing government paperwork. It should be noted that the secretary of state’s primary responsibility is keeping records.
• Noted: Currently serving as chairman of the Chowan County Commission, Goodwin has similar ideas about creating jobs by reducing government regulations.
of public instruction, Republican
• Noted: The candidate wants to “drastically reduce the size and scope” of the Department of Public Instruction and privatize many of its functions.
• Noted: A university instructor at Western Carolina University, Crawford pledges to make the department more efficient.
Ray Ernest Martin
• Noted: A teacher, Martin says he will cut 10 percent in “wasted funding” on his first day on the jobs without costing any “needed” department jobs.
• Noted: A Union County School Board member, Scholl emphases his conservative bona fides.
• Noted: Elected to the Wake County School Board in 2009, Tedesco is part of the faction that set about dismantling the system’s socioeconomic diversity plan for school assignment.
He tells voters that the board has reduced Wake County Schools’ budget by almost $88 million without harming teachers or students. His confrontational style has made him popular with the tea party movement and earned him speaking invitations across the state.
Janet Cowell (i)
• Noted: North Carolina has a tradition of stable finances, and since taking office in 2009 Cowell has maintained the state’s AAA bond rating, which keeps the cost of borrowing down. Cowell didn’t establish the tradition, but she appears to be a good steward.
• Noted: Elmer likes to say that the treasurer’s office “needs a professional investment manager, not a professional politician.” Working for banks in Raleigh and Durham, he’s managed investment portfolios for clients such as Boeing, Chrysler and IBM.
• Noted: Roche took his conservative talk show from Rush Radio to YouTube when he filed to run for treasurer. He worked with French bank Societe General in New York, where he became a fan of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and chafed at the city’s liberal immigration politics. He moved to North Carolina in 2007.
• Noted: A certified public accountant, Royal has “achieved expert status with the M-16.” What do those two have to do with one other? Absolutely nothing.
District 26, Republican
(parts of Guilford County)
Phil Berger (i)
• Noted: A Rockingham County lawyer, Berger is most powerful Republican officeholder in the state. Among other achievements, he forced a redistricting plan on Guilford County that wound up in federal court earlier this year.
• Noted: Not much information about this candidate from Browns Summit except that he received the endorsement of the LGBT-interest Replacements Limited PAC. That’s probably a shot at incumbent Berger for his support of the marriage amendment.
District 27, Republican
(parts of Guilford County)
Latimer B. Alexander IV
• Noted: A longtime member of the High Point City Council, Alexander champions boring initiatives such as road maintenance and investments in water and sewer infrastructure. Good government is often boring.
• As president of Libby Hill Restaurants, one of Conrad’s chief appeals is that he’s never been in government before. Based on his signs, he appears to be running strong in Greensboro.
• Noted: A Thomasville police officer and New York native, Leone ran an erratic campaign for Greensboro City Council last year. His lack of past political success has evidently only inspired greater ambition.
Noted: The most conservative voice on the Greensboro City Council, Wade led the failed effort to reopen the White Street Landfill and made a point of noting her support for the marriage amendment as this year’s campaign got underway.
District 28, Democrat
(parts of Guilford County)
Gladys Robinson (i)
• Noted: Robinson inherited the seat from her mentor, Katie Dorsett. Her tenure has been distinguished by thoughtful leadership with an emphasis on building social capacity through education and health and workforce development.
• Noted: Many voters will know Davis as a member of the Guilford County Commission from High Point. His ardent support for any economic incentives request that promises job creation, even if it means sacrificing quality of life, makes him something of a centrist in his party.
District 32, Democrat
(parts of Forsyth County)
Wilbert S. Banks
• Noted: An employee of Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Banks takes a novel position for a Democrat in his support of the trend of corporations replacing their workforce with temporary laborers. He also opposes a sales-tax increase championed by his party leadership.
• Noted: The only candidate in the race with state legislative experience, Parmon has distinguished herself as a champion of social justice through her ardent support of the Racial Justice Act, early voting and compensation for eugenics victims.
James Taylor Jr.
• Noted: The 31-year-old Taylor won his Southeast Ward seat on Winston-Salem City Council three years ago by unseating an incumbent. He emphasizes jobs and economic development, and charts his own course rather than running in political packs.
District 59, Republican
(parts of Guilford County)
• Noted: A small-government conservative, Hardister ran an energetic and principled campaign against Democrat Pricey Harrison two years ago, speaking out against a deceptive and racialized attack mail piece against his opponent. Now, he’s running for an open seat in a newly created district.
• Noted: The choice of Conservatives for Guilford County, Kasica owns a healthcare consulting company and is active with the Greater Greensboro Republican Women’s Club.
• Noted: This Browns Summit resident ran for lieutenant governor in 2008. His Facebook page suggests he cares a lot about the right to bear arms.
District 60, Democrat
(parts of Guilford County)
Marcus Brandon (i)
• Noted: A progressive Democrat who supports single-payer healthcare, Brandon won his seat two years ago by focusing on the neglected High Point section of District 60. He’s the only openly gay member of the NC General Assembly, but his support for charter schools has generated more controversy.
• Noted: Jones lost the seat two years ago in an upset, and now he wants it back. He rightfully takes credit for bringing district representation to Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Commission in the 1980s, but his role in cofounding the International Civil Rights Center and Museum is more notable than his legislative record.
District 71, Democrat
(parts of Forsyth County)
• Noted: Terry served one term on Winston- Salem City Council from 2005 to 2009. A progressive with a background in community organizing, Terry emphasizes her ability to listen and form her positions from the input of the most marginalized of constituents.
• Noted: Brash, charming and smart, Witherspoon isn’t above making an issue of his youth relative to his opponent — that’s how he got his seat on the Forsyth County Commission two years ago. He’s quicker to take a stand than Terry, including his opposition to North Carolina’s right-to-work law.
District 72, Democrat
(parts of Forsyth County)
Jimmie Lee Bonham
• Noted: A barber and consultant with the NC Commerce Department, Bonham has some intriguing ideas, but they’re overshadowed by his ill-considered effort to get both his opponents thrown off the ballot by challenging their residencies.
Ed Hanes Jr.
• Noted: The self-declared coalition candidate, Hanes displayed leadership in condemning the marriage amendment as discriminatory and a ploy to divide voters. He also has a record of helping the poor as part of a committee at Winston-Salem State University that raised salaries for campus housekeepers.
S. Wayne Patterson
• Noted: Patterson, who is president of the Winston-Salem branch NAACP, tells voters on the campaign trail that he wants to crack down on identity fraud against the elderly.
District 74, Democrat
(parts of Forsyth County)
John C. Gladman
• Noted: As assistant director for social services at the Salvation Army, Gladman is well known in Winston-Salem, although he lives in Rural Hall. His remarks on the campaign trail suggest he would support a proposed sales tax increase to restore funding for teachers, but I’m not aware that he’s taken a position one way or the other.
David W. Moore
• Noted: An aviation consultant from Kernersville, Moore’s campaign platform includes stopping outsourcing and ameliorating harsh policies against undocumented children. He opposes a ‘-cent sales tax increase proposed by Gov. Bev Perdue.
District 74, Republican
(parts of Forsyth County)
Larry R. Brown
• Noted: Brown is the only candidate with state legislative experience. He currently represents House District 73, which is being eliminated through redistricting. It will be interesting to see if Republican voters will repudiate him for his statement that the government shouldn’t spend money to treat HIV among people “living in perverted lifestyles,” and derogatory comments about “queers” and “fruit loops.”
Glenn L. Cobb
• Noted: Cobb is the only candidate who hasn’t served in elective office before, but as chief staff executive for the Winston-Salem Regional Association of Realtors, he’s acted an intermediary between his industry and government.
• Noted: Conrad, who currently serves on the Forsyth County Commission, touts her willingness to fight the ACLU so that the board could pray in the name of Jesus before meetings — the ACLU ultimately won. That doesn’t mean she’s out of sync with business interests: She consistently votes for incentives, and has served on the boards of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission and the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority.
District 79, Republican
(parts of Forsyth County)
Julia Craven Howard (i)
• Noted: Redistricting brought District 79 into Forsyth County, along with incumbent Julia Howard, a Mocksville realtor who has held the seat since 1989.
• Noted: An outdoor advertising company owner, Whiteheart has served on the Forsyth County Commission on and off since 2004. He tends toward the conservative side of his party although he’s not universally liked by the right flank.
Forsyth County Commission
District B, Republican
(vote for 3)
Richard V. Linville (i)
• Noted: The chairman of the Forsyth County Commission is a Kernersville farmer who is reported to weigh his votes while riding around on the tractor. He often defers to the wishes of his fellow commissioners in the board’s Republican majority before taking positions.
Dave Plyler (i)
• Noted: Plyler has broken with his party and angered conservatives by voting against allowing guns in county parks and against requiring photo ID as a precondition to vote. He’s the most viable of the incumbents in the general election, but the most vulnerable in the primary.
Gloria Whisenhunt (i)
• Noted: Like Linville, Whisenhunt consistently supports incentives, but is a reliably conservative vote on virtually everything else.
• Noted: Among the conservative challengers in the race, Tobaccoville Village Councilman Mark Baker is probably the one to watch. He made a respectable showing in at-large balloting in 2010, and has landed an endorsement from the Forsyth County Republican Men’s Club this year.
John R. Bost
• Noted: Clemmons Mayor John R. Bost advocates for a ward system and regional planning coordination, positions that haven’t exactly endeared him to the conservative wing of his party. He’s been harassed for paying for a meal for homeless people out of his own pocket at a meeting hosted by CHANGE, but makes no apologies.
• Noted: A political newcomer, Boyd can be counted on to speak his mind on any number of issues before the Forsyth County Commission and the Winston-Salem City Council: the marriage amendment (in favor), allowing guns in county parks (in favor) and voter ID (in favor).
• Noted: Lowder breaks ranks with fellow conservative challengers by supporting incentives. His day job is running a site development company, which raises the question about whether he would have a conflict of interest when voting on incentives.
• Noted: A former Kernersville Town Council member, Prescott narrowly averted censure by his party because his name appeared in a newspaper endorsement for a Democrat at one time.
He focuses on economic development. He’s an airline pilot with a catchy slogan: “I’m going to take this county to new heights.”
Guilford County Commission
District 4, Republican
Jerry Alan Branson
• Noted: With experience on the parks and recreation commission and the Woody Mill Road/Liberty Road Vicinity Zoning Overlay, it’s a safe bet Branson is qualified for the job.
Noah F. Messick
• Noted: Messick is no longer campaigning, and told us he’s supporting Branson in this race.
W. Douglas Williams
• Noted: Williams received the nod from Conservatives for Guilford County, and an interview in its party organ, the Greensboro Guardian, reveals that he is in favor of zero-based budgeting, opposed to economic incentives and is an avid free marketer. Where’s the red meat?
District 5, Republican
• Noted: Phillips challenged Howard Coble from the right for the 6th Congressional District seat two years ago. Credit him with walking his talk as a small-government Christian: He has actively volunteered with the NightWatch homeless outreach team. He’s also dissected the public schools budget for Conservatives for Guilford County.
• Noted: Wendelken’s politics are as conservative as the next Republican’s, although evidently not conservative enough for Conservatives for Guilford County. The position that comes immediately to mind is a proposal floated in the News & Record in 2005 to have the county tax bicycles to pay for bike paths.
District 6, Democrat
• Noted: An associate professor of leadership studies at NC A&T University, Miller has been active in worthy community endeavors such as the Cottage Grove Initiative and Love, Youth, Faith, Empowerment. It would be hard to find a more qualified first-time candidate.
• Noted: A small-government conservative like his two opponents, Henning distinguishes himself by having enlisted in the Marine Corps
Linda M. Kellerman
• Noted: Kellerman suspended her campaign after a death in her family and endorsed Miller. One more reason to vote for Miller.
after Sept. 11, 2001.
Tony G. Wilkins
• Noted: We’ve known Wilkins for quite some
time – as a neighbor in Adams Farm, a blogger and committed Republican volunteer. He’s a conservative that independents and moderates can have a conversation with.
Jeremy R. Williams
• Noted: Williams graced our cover wearing a tri-corner hat at a tea party rally in April 2010. Shortly afterwards he plunged into engaged citizenship, joining forces with Conservatives for Guilford County. Last year, Williams recommended eliminating longevity bonuses for employees to save the county money.
Guilford County School Board
Sandra Alexander (i)
• Noted: Alexander is completing her first term on the school board. She recently cast the lone no vote in a decision to stop allowing students to transfer out of low-performing schools.
• Noted: This 27-year-old High Point resident wants the school system to do what he does as career development director for Goodwill of Central NC – enhance career development services for students who are not on the college track.
• Noted: This libertarian-leaning candidate has made his voice heard speaking to elected boards and writing letters to the editor. Now, he’s using a YouTube and other new media platforms to promote ideas about using the school board to create jobs.
• Noted: The candidate has been involved in Republican politics for several years, and his father is a state senator from Archdale.
Tammy J. Walker
• Noted: A substitute teacher, Walker wants to enhance communication between teachers and parents.
Paul Daniels (i)
• Noted: Daniels is completing his first term
on the school board. He’s known for promoting fiscal efficiency, and his commitment to official accountability is demonstrated in his record of returning our calls for our Pop Quiz.
• Noted: A retired employee of the Guilford County Schools Maintenance Department, Owens pledges to represent teachers and workers on the board.
• Noted: A PTA mom, Welborn emphasizes school safety and cutting wasteful spending.
District court judge, District 21
• Noted: This is a nonpartisan race, but Allred is endorsed by the Forsyth County Republican Men’s Club. Read into it what you will.
Robert W. Ewing
• Noted: A criminal defense lawyer, Ewing has been working the African-American Democratic circuit hard in this race and illustrates his sense of fairness with stories about how one client stole his gold watch and how he discovered another client was innocent after tracking down a purported witness cited in a falsified police report.
Jerry D. Jordan
• Noted: Jordan is a former member of the Forsyth County Board of Elections, and the beneficiary of an endorsement by a dubious political action committee (a Republican candidate in a nonpartisan race, he shares the slate with a slew of Democrats).
Richard D. Ramsey
• Noted: A trial lawyer in a county where Darryl Hunt made “wrongful conviction” a household phrase, Dick Ramsey highlights a case on his website in which he appealed a lower-court death sentence and won a “not guilty” verdict for a client, who was released after four years in custody.
• Noted: An assistant district attorney, Sipprell has won the endorsement of his old boss, Tom Keith. He also shares an endorsement from the Winston-Salem Journal with Ramsey.
Superior court judge, District 18E
(parts of Guilford County)
Susan E. Bray
• Noted: Bray sat for an interview with us when she ran for this seat six years ago, and we remember her as thoughtful and personable. She currently serves as a district court judge and is the only candidate with experience on the bench.
Manning A. Connors
• Noted: Connors clerked for then-NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Burley Mitchell after graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law. He currently practices with the highpowered Greensboro law firm Smith Moore Leatherwood.
Jason B. Crump
• Noted: An assistant district attorney, Crump raised eyebrows at the News & Record because he temporarily rented an apartment to qualify as a candidate while his wife and children continued to live outside the district. Crump told the paper that he and his wife were not separated.
• Noted: This candidate doesn’t have a website, which doesn’t leave us much to go on. The News & Record reports that Enochs, like Crump, is currently employed as a prosecutor.
District court judge, District 18
Donald R. Buie
• Noted: Practices law in Winston-Salem, but lives in Greensboro.
Linda L. Falls
• Noted: Falls has previously served as a district court judge, but was defeated in her 2008 reelection bid.
• Noted: Tomlin has worked as a trial lawyer in Greensboro for 16 years. Before that, he spent 10 years in journalism, including a five-year stint as a reporter at the News & Record.