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Endorsements

by YES! Weekly staff

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Forsyth County Sheriff:

Bill Schatzman (R, i) and Jerry Herron (D)’  YES! Weekly proudly endorses Democrat Jerry Herron for Forsyth County Sheriff. A retired major in the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Herron has 26 years of law-enforcement experience. Herron is a Winston-Salem native who advocates a community-based approach to law enforcement. Herron said he believes he has the leadership skills to lead the sheriff’s office into the 21 st century. If elected, Herron said he plans on focusing on youth outreach through the school resource officer program. Herron said he hopes to bring community leaders to the table to tutor and mentor at-risk students. In the long run, Herron believes this approach will save the county a lot of money. “It costs more to incarcerate than to educate,” he said. Schatzman, a native of Connecticut, previously served with the FBI and worked as a private security consultant before running for sheriff in 2002. Since taking office in 2003, Schatzman claims that the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has reduced serious crime by 30 percent. Forsyth County experienced a 12 percent decrease in the crime rate from 2008 to 2009, according to the NC Department of Justice website.

Forsyth County Clerk Of Superior Court:

Susan Speaks Frye (D) and Jeff L. Polston (R) YES! Weekly proudly endorses Democrat Susan Speaks Frye for Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court. Jeff L. Polston, the Republican candidate for Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court, was accused of fraud stemming from his bankruptcy filing on Oct. 12, 2005. In a Jan. 11, 2007 filing in US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, C. Edwin Allman III, a trustee of Lexington State Bank, alleged that Polston committed fraud by not reporting income as required by his bankruptcy agreement. The Forsyth County Clerk of Court has jurisdiction over matters relating to the probate of wills, and the administration of estates, including appointing personal representatives, auditing their accounting and removing them from office if necessary, according to the NC Courts web site.

The clerk receives and disburses money collected each year from court fees and fines and presides over other legal matters including adoptions, incompetency proceedings, condemnation of private lands for public use and foreclosures. The clerk is responsible for all clerical and record-keeping functions of the district and superior court. Considering Polston’s financial woes, Susan Speaks Frye is the clear choice for voters on Nov. 2.

Forsyth County Commission at large:

Ted Kaplan (D, i) and Bill Whiteheart (R) YES! Weekly proudly endorses Ted Kaplan in the at-large race for the Forsyth County Commission. During his first term on the commission, Kaplan, the former majority leader of the NC Senate, has earned a reputation as a consensus builder. Kaplan’s experience in the NC General Assembly has offered the commission valuable insight into the machinations of state government. Considering the dismal forecast for county revenues, the commission will need a steadying force like Kaplan to help lead Forsyth through another tough budget process in 2011. Kaplan’s support of the library bond referendum is another reasons Forsyth voters should elect him to a second term. Kaplan pointed out that historically low interest rates and cut-rate construction costs make this the ideal time to build a new central library. “It’s like getting a library on sale,” he said.

In addition, Kaplan served as a voice of reason during the sectarian prayer debate earlier this year. Kaplan opposed the county appealing a judge’s decision that the use sectarian prayer prior to the start of commission’s meetings is unconstitutional. Kaplan offered a solution to the commission — adopt the same policy as the NC Senate regarding prayer — but the conservative members of the commission simply wouldn’t listen. Kaplan’s opponent, Republican Bill Whiteheart, has not yet responded to several interview requests by YES! Weekly.

Forsyth County Commission District B:

Debra Conrad (R, i) and Stan Dean (D) In the District B race for Forsyth County Commission, YES! Weekly proudly endorses

Democratic challenger Stan Dean. Like Kaplan, Dean would be a voice of reason on the commission. Dean faces Republican incumbent Debra Conrad, vice chair of the commission, in the Nov. 2 election. Conrad was one of the most vocal supporters of the county’s decision to appeal US District Court Judge James Beaty‘s decision in the sectarian prayer case. Dean said the issue serves as an example of how partisanship has pushed out common sense on the commission. If elected, Dean said he would advocate that the commission adopt an inclusive prayer policy that is nonsectarian in nature, one that has been successfully implemented by other government entities. Also, Dean is a big proponent of offering economic incentive packages to attract industry to the area, while Conrad has typically opposed such measures.

Dean believes the only way to increase the tax base is to bring jobs to the area. For these reasons and more, YES! Weekly endorses Stan Dean for Forsyth County Commission.

Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools District 1:

Geneva B. Brown (i), Victor Johnson (i), Jimmie Lee Bonham and Chenita Barber Johnson In the District 1 race, YES!

Weekly proudly endorses Victor Johnson and Jimmie Lee Bonham. In 1960, Johnson was one of 10 students from Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County School Board at large:

Donnie C. Lambeth (i), Elisabeth Motsinger (i), Robert Barr, Lori Goins Clark, Jeannie A. Metcalf and Nancy Sherrill Because of a new state law, Forsyth County will undergo its first nonpartisan school board election on Nov. 2. The removal of the letters “R” and “D” from the ballot appeared to have made an impact during the filing period in February. Twenty-six candidates filed for seats on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education. The May 4 primary whittled the number to 18 candidates vying for nine seats.

In the at-large race, YES! Weekly proudly endorses Nancy Sherrill, Elisabeth Motsinger and Robert Barr. A veteran teacher and administrator with 23 years of experience, Sherrill has vowed to focus on improving early childhood education and to reducing classroom sizes. Sherrill said the school system must do a better job of reaching out to parents, because parental involvement is one of the keys to improving Forsyth’s lackluster graduation rate.

Elisabeth Motsinger has a track record of being the one progressive voice on the conservative school board. Motsinger believes the school board should look at alternatives to its current student assignment plan, which is based on “neighborhood schools” rather than socioeconomic diversity.

“I think that the policy as a whole has not been looked at for years, while the [conservatives] try to say any move from what we’re are doing is a returned to forced busing is pretty reactive,” Motsinger said. “What we are saying [is], ‘Can we look at this and come up with a plan that offers greater diversity?’” Motsinger is one of a number of school board candidates who support a proposal by the Winston-Salem chapter of Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment, or CHANGE, to explore alternatives to the current student assignment plan to improve diversity and student achievement.

“There has to be a way of revisiting this and come up with a school system that’s more representative of our school population,” Motsinger said.

Robert Barr, a challenger in the at-large race, grew up in what he described as an “all-black community” off Patterson Avenue and took the long bus ride each morning to Lewisville Elementary.

“I am for neighborhood schools but when you look at schools that are centered in one area of town that are majority low-performing schools, I ask, ‘Do we need to look at another plan?’” Barr said. “I think it’s time to revisit the plan and, is there a more skillful way of doing this? it doesn’t mean that anyone who doesn’t want to be on a bus for half an hour has to be.”

Nine schools in Forsyth — all with more than 80 percent of children receiving free and reduced lunch — have made the state’s “low performing” list on ABC test results and are at risk for a state takeover.

Teachers College — now Winston-Salem State University — who joined Carl Matthews’ sit-in protest of Winston-Salem’s segregated lunch counters. Fifty years later, Johnson is running for another term on the school board. Johnson showed his flexibility on the student assignment issue. During the primary, Johnson indicated that he did not support a proposal to look at alternatives to the “neighborhood schools” program, but has since voiced his support for an exploration of alternatives, CHANGE lead organizer Ryan Eller said.

Bonham enthusiastically supports an alternative to the current student assignment plan.

“Diversity is not a bad word,” Bonham said. “For us to have a successful community, we must reflect diversity in our schools. This school choice — it creates a divide within our community.”

Bonham said Forsyth should take a cue from the Wake County student assignment plan, which creates socioeconomic diversity by ensuring that no school has more than 40 percent of its students receiving free and reduced lunch, and no more than 25 percent of its students failing to perform at grade level.

If elected, Bonham pledged to look at alternatives to the school system’s suspension policy and would ask for greater accountability from the administration.

Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County School Board District 2:

Jane D. Goins (i), Marilyn Parker (i), Jill Tackaberry (i), Buddy Collins, Donald Dunn, Carla B. Farmer, Stacey Walker McElveen and Jim Toole In the District 2 race, YES! Weekly proudly endorses Marilyn Parker, Jill Tackaberry, Carla B. Farmer and Jim Toole.

Parker, a three-term incumbent on the school board, boasts an impressive r’sum’ in education and has exhibited a commitment to equality of education for all students in the district. Parker advocates individual education plans for students at all levels and aptitudes. Toole, a challenger in District 2, has three school-aged children and understands the long-term consequences of failing schools.

“At 72 percent, our low graduation rate has a significant and cumulative impact on our community, with measurable consequences on wages, economic growth and the health of our citizens,” Toole states on his campaign website. “Closing those gaps will take more than a simple focus on failure prevention — we need to find ways to inspire students to the pursuit of excellence.”

Although Tackaberry supports the current student assignment plan, she has voiced support for alternatives to the school system’s discipline policy. Tackaberry, a three-term incumbent, said she would support a joint effort between the schools, law enforcement, the faith community and other organizations to create mentoring and after school programs to connect with at-risk students.

Carla B. Farmer, a challenger in District 2, has voiced her support for an exploration of alternatives to the student assignment plan, as well as alternatives to the school system’s outof-school suspension policy. Despite her newcomer status, Farmer would bring a fresh voice to the school board — just one reason why YES! Weekly supports her candidacy.

Forsyth County Soil & Water Board:

Toby Bost (i), Kevin Briggs and Gilbert Monk In the Forsyth County Soil and Water Board race, there are three candidates vying for two seats. YES! Weekly endorses Toby Bost and Kevin Briggs. According to the Turfgrass Council of NC website, Bost became a certified turfgrass professional in 2002. According to NC General Statute, soil and water supervisors are charged with the responsibility of conducting surveys and investigations regarding soil erosion and floodwater and sediment damages, and to closely monitor the conservation, utilization and disposal of water, the development of water resources, and the preventive and control measures necessary. Supervisors are also required to publish the results of their surveys, and effectively disseminate that information.

Guilford County Sheriff:

BJ Barnes (R, i) and Phil Wadsworth (D) The suite of buildings that makes up the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office looks like a tidy Christmas village nestled among the downtown government structures, more in common architecturally with the nearby Blandwood Mansion than the vaguely Romanesque Melvin Municipal Building across the street.

From this seat, Sheriff BJ Barnes has policed the county since first being elected to the post in 1994.

A lot has happened in Guilford County since then: population shifts, city annexations, economic boom and strife. The sheriff will remind you: The county is still 652 square miles, still contains, on a good day, half a million people.

Barnes has changed with the times, showing the ability to shift the department’s focus when necessary, act as an able administrator and take on new responsibilities without hesitation.

Our endorsement of BJ Barnes is more of a testament to his ability to do the job than a reflection of his opponent, Phil Wadsworth. Barnes has handled himself and his department well and shows no signs of slowing down.

Cranes loom over the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, swinging loads of cinderblock and steel into the structure emerging in its backyard. The building, a new county jail, is Barnes’ latest, and perhaps greatest, project, marrying his abilities as a CFO with his take on the criminal justice system.

The jail, nearly 400,000 square feet with a $115 million price tag, will allow the county to hold federal prisoners in the current county facility, generating income from the federal government. The county farm, which fell under Barnes stewardship after he took office, has soybeans, corn on its 800 acres. A greenhouse holds seasonal plants like chrysanthemums and poinsettia, sold for profit. And a crop of muscadine is earmarked for a new product, Jailhouse Jelly, which Barnes also expects to bring in revenue.

His inmates can learn culinary skills, computer basics or engine repair; have access to AA, anger management programs and financial literacy classes; and can enroll in a re-entry program that Barnes says “is about getting them acclimated back into society.”

He laughs when he hears the word “progressive,” but the fact is that among North Carolina sheriffs, he has an enlightened attitude that he passes off as common sense.

“A lot of jails is just warehouses,” he says.

“I don’t see that to be very beneficial to us.”

Barnes is a Republican and is active in the county political party, yet he’s managed to keep getting elected in a blue county due in no small part to his political comity.

“I have to run under a party,” he says. “I happen to be Republican in party, and I believe in less government, and I’m part libertarian with a little Democratic social value thrown in. But I’ll be frank: I’ve never voted straight ticket in my life and quite frankly I don’t think that thinking people should do that.”

Guilford County Superior Court Judge District 18 (Davis seat):

Lindsay Davis (i) and Joe Floyd Jr. Really, we shouldn’t even be bothering with this endorsement, because challenger Joe Floyd Jr. has rescinded his candidacy, though not in time to get his name off the ballot. Suffice it to say that if he does not want the job — or is unstable enough to flake out just weeks before Election Day — then we cannot in good conscience endorse his campaign. It is in that spirit that we say vote for Lindsay Davis for District 18 Superior Court judge.

Guilford County School Board at large:

Nancy Routh (i) and Lisa Ingle Clapp The Guilford County School Board at-large race pits 78-year-old Nancy Routh, an incumbent who has spent her entire working life in the field of education and was elected to the body in 2002, against Lisa Ingle Clapp, a dental hygienist who comes to the contest as a parent and PTA member.

It’s a tough call, because Routh brings a wealth of experience and has served ably on the board.

But we’re going with Clapp, not necessarily because of her positions — which include a focus on discipline and academic achievement and a preference for neighborhood schools — but because she is a parent with two kids in the school system, making her concerns with the system more than just theoretical musings.

Of secondary concern, though not without merit, is the age difference. So much has changed in the realm of education since Routh began her distinguished career, and though we don’t doubt her ability to be current on issues like cyberbullying, plagiarism, violence and escalating competition for college placement,we think it would be valuable for the board to have as a member someone for whom these things are immediate and pressing concerns.

Guilford County School Board District 2:

Garth Hebert (i) and Ed Price With a fierce battle underway in Wake County over an initiative to resegregate public schools and persistent advocacy from CHANGE to reexamine Forsyth County’s school assignment plan, it’s worth noting that Hebert was first elected to the Guilford County

School Board representing a district on the affluent side of High Point where efforts to achieve a balance of socioeconomic diversity were intensely unpopular. Hebert succeeded Susan Mendenhall, a champion of diversity, but his election over Debbie Maines didn’t hinge on the issue because both candidates favored neighborhood schools. Dot Kearns, High Point’s other champion of diversity, retired from the board in 2008. That battle is over.

An accountant by profession, Hebert has made a positive contribution to the school board, no matter what you think about school-assignment plans. A realtor with a history of support for community athletics that has made him a beloved figure in High Point, Price would likely also represent the district well. Voters shouldn’t sweat this one too much, but in the absence a compelling reason for change, the edge goes to Hebert.

Guilford County Soil and Water Board:

Lewis Brandon (i), Dick Phillips (i), Ray Briggs, Andy Courts and Ron Tuck Lewis Brandon is a solid individual and a curmudgeon — totally endearing qualities in combination. He’s perhaps best known as the house historian and photographer at the Beloved Community Center and the chauffeur for the sit-in movement way back in the early 1960s when he was a student at NC A&T. Many people don’t realize that he’s also a retired science teacher who has served on the soil and water board since 1987. As a founding member of the Piedmont Land Conservancy, a former member of the Guilford County Parks and Recreation Commission who doesn’t miss a chance to champion Triad Park on the Forsyth-Guilford county line, and a onetime member of the Guilford County Watershed Study Committee, Brandon is more than qualified to hold this office.

The other incumbent in this race, which features five candidates vying for two seats, also deserves re-election. Dick Phillips, 85, is completing his first term. He holds a master’s degree in biological and agricultural engineering with an emphasis on water quality from NC State University and also serves on a technical review committee for the NC Division of Soil and Water. In other words, he’s super qualified.

Many will remember that two years ago, a phantom candidate named Kirk Perkins won the soil and water board race based on sharing a name with a popular Guilford County commissioner. The candidate who received the next largest number of votes was Andy Courts, and he’s taking another shot. High Point resident Ray Briggs said he’s running to bring geographical representation to the board. And Ron Tuck is a contractor who has earned goodwill for providing employment to homeless people and working to get recognition for aging gospel performers.

High Point City Council at-large:

Latimer Alexander IV (i), Mary Lou Andrews Blakeney (i), Will Armfield II, Regina Chahal, Britt W.

Moore and Ed Squires There are two seats up for grabs in the atlarge race.

Latimer Alexander IV, an incumbent who has served on city council for almost a decade gets the nod in this race. In 2008, we took a pass on Alexander, taking the view that his citation of corporate incentives and retraining as steps toward job creation was pass’. Since that time, we’ve become big fans. Alexander’s passion and breadth of knowledge in the realms of budgeting, taxation, services, infrastructure, public and private investment and recreation make him the best candidate, hands down. Like fellow council member Bernita Sims, Alexander is active in intergovernmental organizations, an extracurricular activity that puts him in good stead to learn best practices from other cities and get an inside track on federal grants.

We endorsed Mary Lou Andrews Blakeney last time around. As she completes her first term in office, it’s not apparent that she’s fully engaged in the job. Frankly, we had a difficult time chasing these candidates down, although several of them showed up at TREBIC’s annual power politics event to court well-heeled donors in the real estate and building industries. It’s difficult to endorse an enigma.

Your first vote should go to Alexander, and you’re on your own for your second choice. Our best advice is to take the personal approach, and call up someone who knows one of the candidates and get a recommendation. Or, if you’re lucky enough to talk to one of the candidates, make a choice based on your feel for their dedication and sincerity.

High Point City Council Ward 1:

Bernita Sims (i) and Jeffrey Golden We’ve acknowledged that a lot of things are going well in High Point after years of slow and steady decline in the US furniture manufacturing industry to which its fate was aligned. But we also look for new talent on the political front, and challenger Jeffrey Golden does have a unique resume. He’s an Army veteran and a licensed practical nurse whose only political experience comes from working on others’ campaigns — though he has some relevant business experience and community ties.

But Golden offers boilerplate rhetoric, including soft stances on job creation, urban development and government accountability, none of which distinguish him from the incumbent, Bernita Sims.

Sims has served on council since 2002, including one term as mayor pro tem. She’s plugged into the machine, having served on a slew of boards, foundations, committees and churches throughout her tenure, demonstrating her standing in the community and familiarity with the political process. Plus, she enjoys the incumbent’s advantage of established alliances and acquired knowledge, giving her the edge over her challenger.

High Point City Council Ward 2:

Foster Douglas (i), Jill Harwood and Chris Williams In High Point’s Ward 2 race, we again go with the incumbent, but this time with a caveat.

The ward features many of the city’s problems — poverty, blight, crime and downward mobility chief among them — on display, and it clearly needs a good district representative to help usher in a new period.

Foster Douglas won the seat in 2008 against four other candidates after four-term incumbent Ron Wilkins left office due to health problems, and this far he’s been a pretty good rep who understands his constituency and the challenges they face, which puts him in fairly stark contrast with opponent Jill Harwood, who holds a Jamestown address, though still within High Point corporate city limits. Harwood also, in our opinion, lacks the credentials for elected office this year; her sole community efforts come as a member of the High Point Library Board of Trustees. And we find her pledge to serve with the “founding principles” of our nation in mind to be confusing and vague.

About the other challenger, Chris Williams, we know very little as he has not responded to our request to fill out a candidate survey, which does not bode well for his campaign. If a candidate doesn’t respond to us now, when he’s trying to make a name, we figure he’ll be even less responsive to our requests for information as a sitting council member.

Which makes our endorsement of Douglas problematic, because he, too declined to complete his candidate survey. So Douglas gets the nod, with the admonishment that he needs to understand that avoiding media scrutiny is not the way to help the people of Ward 2.

High Point City Council Ward 4:

Bob Fowler and AB Henley YES! Weekly endorses AB Henley for High Point City Council Ward 4. Henley is vying against Bob Fowler for the seat vacated by Bill Bencini, who is running unopposed for Guilford County Commission. Henley boasts an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School at UNC-Chapel Hill and a vast network of connections in the real estate and banking industries. Henley has served on numerous civic boards and committees, including the High Point Chamber of Commerce, the High Point

Community Foundation, the United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs of High Point. Every city needs at least one member with a strong business background and plenty of strong connections to the world of finance. Henley, 46, will bring that valuable insight and experience to the city council.

High Point City Council Ward 5:

Christopher M. Whitley (i), Rodney Joslin and Geoffrey Shull YES! Weekly endorses Rodney Joslin for High Point City Council Ward 5. Joslin, a mold maker for Tyco Electronics, describes himself as a fiscal conservative. Joslin said he decided to run for office because he didn’t feel the city council was being responsible with taxpayer dollars. If High Point hopes to compete with Winston-Salem and Greensboro, the city needs to bring its cost of living more in line with other Piedmont Triad cities, Joslin said. “It seems to me we’re going in the wrong direction,” Joslin said.

Joslin said he’s not opposed to economic incentive packages to lure industry to the city, but he believes each proposal should undergo a thorough cost-benefit analysis. After working in manufacturing for 26 years, Joslin said it’s clear that the only way to survive in today’s economy is to become more efficient. If elected, Joslin said his first order of business will be streamlining the city’s operations and finding creative ways to bring jobs to the area. High Point City Council needs a blue-collar perspective on the challenges of the 21st century, and Joslin can offer that insight.

High Point City Council Ward 6:

Jim Corey, Jason Ewing and Gerald Grubb In Ward 6, we’re proud to endorse Jim Corey, a retired political science professor and a rare maverick with innovative ideas in a field all too often dominated by lawyers and members of the real estate and building professions. And this time we’re consistent, having endorsed Corey against John Faircloth in 2008. Faircloth won two years ago and now stands poised to assume a seat in the NC House, leaving the seat open once again.

Corey is the clear choice over Jason Ewing, a 33-year-old real estate broker, employee of Coldwell Banker Triad Realtors — owned by Faircloth — and heir apparent; and Gerald Grubb, a 65-year old mortgage broker who lost the NC House primary to Faircloth.

High Point Mayor:

Becky Smothers (i), Dwayne Hemingway-El and Jay Wagner It would be tempting to go with Jay Wagner. At 42, with a thriving law practice and a track record of civic leadership with the Uptowne High Point Association and City Project, he has all the makings of a young, energetic and smart mayor. There’s a lot to be said for succession planning, and incumbent Becky Smothers, 71, is entering the sunset years of her political career.

Electing Wagner, who has never held elective office, to the top job in High Point politics would be a mistake. Upon close examination, Wagner’s governing philosophy is almost exactly like Smothers’: Focus on basic services and infrastructure, spend what’s left on economic development, keep taxes low and stay engaged with quality-of-life and cultural issues.

The leadership team in place now, with Smothers at the forefront and supported by the considerable talent and expertise of council members Latimer Alexander IV, Bernita Sims, Bill Bencini and John Faircloth – of which the latter two are matriculating – has guided the city well. (Now would be the appropriate place to acknowledge that we endorsed against Alexander and Faircloth two years ago. The change of heart can be chalked up to increased familiarity with High Point politics, although candidates who champion environmental sustainability and public transportation against the pro-business status quo would still get our attention.)

The fact is High Point has a lot to be proud of. The city regularly announces new companies relocating to the city or expanding to create new jobs, and High Point University has been on a tear. High Point’s population growth has outpaced its big-city Triad neighbors and, at least by the numbers, it leads in median household income. Violent crime has been on a long-term decline, and the city’s drama-free police department and a nationally-acclaimed program that gives repeat offenders a choice between hard time and rehabilitation, along with an engaged citizenry, deserve much of the credit. Even Wagner agrees that his city holds an admirable public safety record.

Wagner’s attempt to tie the sharp decline in employment and private investment faced by the city over the past three years isn’t fair. Those challenges are national, and cannot be laid at Smothers’ feet. It’s those challenges and others that argue for giving Smothers another two years. Along with North Carolina and every other municipality in the state, High Point will contend with a tough budget picture next year. She also deserves more time to implement the city’s plan to revitalize its core city. Notwithstanding the discontent and anxiety behind the clamor for change this year, this is an election that calls for wise, seasoned leadership.

Smothers put it well in her YES! Weekly interview.

“To play to the notion that change is what we need can be appealing,” she said, “but if there’s no assurance of how you get to that change or what the change is, you’re probably buying a pig in a poke.”

Notwithstanding our call in favor of Smothers, Jay Wagner deserves the citizens of High Point’s gratitude for running a vigorous race and injecting some energy into the election. Wagner would make a great at-large or ward representative, and we hope he’ll run in 2012.

Even Dwayne Hemingway-El, a third candidate in the race, deserves credit for creating some interest, albeit with his eccentric views on citizenship, traffic laws and constitutional authority. We strongly frown upon candidates and elected officials pursuing lawsuits against the very cities they seek to lead, but Hemingway-El should be lauded for bringing a low-income perspective, which is often sorely lacking from the political discourse.

With pride and no reservations, our endorsement for mayor of High Point goes to Becky Smothers.

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