Garrett Takes on Power Broker Wade for Senate Seat
Democrat Michael Garret is running against incumbent Republican state Sen. Trudy Wade for her current seat in District 27. The district covers two-thirds of Guilford County and parts of west Greensboro.
“I am running to be the people’s voice, work for them and represent their interest,” Garrett said.
The small business owner works for a marketing firm in Greensboro and hopes to win the support of voters on Nov. 8.
Garrett, who previously has been a registered Republican, switched his affiliation to Democrat in 2010. He said that he is not interested in the political game but cares about serving the community.
Garrett has two main positions that he hopes to raise awareness for in the state senate: education and the economy. On education policy, Garrett said that there is a need to increase teacher pay to the national average and to reverse the trend of North Carolina losing teachers to other states.
He believes that the economy needs to grow and said that he will advocate for the people of Guilford County and fight to attract good quality jobs.
“I’ve really seen how the state government and this General Assembly can have a negative impact, they can stand in the way of progress,” said Garrett.
Garrett opposed Wade’s Senate Bill 36 that would have re-districted Greensboro’s City Council.
He said that Raleigh had no place telling residents of Greensboro and Guilford County how they should be re-districted. A major component in his decision to run was that he felt the Republican-dominated General Assembly too often veered into political power ploys and lost focus on the people they represent.
Garrett believes that incumbent Trudy Wade, a former county commissioner and Greensboro city council member, is not responsive to voters. He feels strongly that public servants need to listen to the people.
“I was surprised that she sponsored legislation like that, because a lot of Republicans would advocate for local control,” said Garrett.
He said that the community was not asking for the redistricting measure and he believes that his opponent does not have her constituent’s best interests at heart.
“I’ve always believed that government is best at the local level; it’s most accountable to its constituents,” said Garrett.
The Democratic challenger also disagrees with HB 2, known globally as the North Carolina’s Bathroom Bill, and said that it has negatively impacted the state. He also noted that it has not helped the economy, especially with the NCAA and ACC pulling high-profile events out of Greensboro and North Carolina.
Garrett believes that there is only one answer: to repeal HB2.
“I want Guilford County, and the people, to have a seat at the table,” said Garrett, criticizing the rushed and secretive manner in which the Republican majority in Raleigh passed the bathroom bill.
A UNC Greensboro graduate with a degree in Business Administration, Garrett has been on several boards including previously being the Chairman of Alumni at UNCG and the United Way’s Educational Impact Council in Guilford County.
Back in 2006, Garrett ran against Guilford County Commissioner Linda Shaw when he was a senior at UNCG.
“I think my time at UNCG really gave me an opportunity. I listened to university leaders in different fields, whether business, health or education, describe the challenges that they face and possible solutions,” Garret said.
Garrett said that he’s been able to get to know many brilliant people in Guilford County and that there is much energy among people who want to make a difference.
He said that unlike Wade’s often cloistered leadership style, he wants to be accessible and willing to speak, even with those he may have disagreements with. He invites the people of Guilford County and the press to speak with him because he wants to be completely accessible.
“If I see a problem, I’m always there rolling up my sleeves to find a solution,” Garrett said.