Article by Madelynn Keller
Featured image by https://www.kunr.org
The North Carolina General Elections are fast approaching, and some of our seniors are getting ready to vote for the first time. So for all soon-to-be voters, use this guide to get to know the candidates for the local 2022 elections.
US Senate: The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives comprise the two chambers of Congress. A United States Senator is elected to serve for a term of 6 years.
- Ted Budd (Republican Party): Ted Budd is a self-described family man, small businessman, and a “liberal-agenda crusher”, who grew up in Davie County. Budd currently is a US Representative who stands for building more oil pipelines, maintaining the overturn of Roe v. Wade, increasing criminal penalties on drug development/use, and opposing gun control. Ted Budd deals heavily in veteran outreach and giving veterans the opportunity to reenter the workforce through teaching.
- Cheri Beasley (Democratic Party): In 2019, Cheri rose to become the first African American woman to serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. She is now running for Senate to “be an independent voice who stands up for North Carolina and what’s right for our state- regardless of the politics.” Some of the issues she stands for are establishing a family leave policy, codifying the Women’s Health Protection Act, expanding our renewable energy industry, and encouraging the use of mental health treatments and rehabilitation centers within the criminal justice system.
- Matthew Hoh (Green Party): Matthew Hoh grew up in New Jersey, received his bachelor’s from Tufts University, and served in the US Marine Corps from 1998-2008. He wants to act on some of his beliefs as a senator: “The corrupt political system is squeezing all the wealth to the top and leaving working people to struggle. I’m running for US Senate to fight back. We need to reclaim, reimagine, and rebuild our government into a government for the people.”
- Shannon W. Bray (Libertarian Party): Shannon Bray was born in Marrero, Louisiana. Bray has a Masters in Cybersecurity from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Missouri Science and Technology. Bray served in the United States Navy and Shannon Bray currently works for the Department of Defense (DoD) and lives in Apex, NC. His wife Stephanie and him share three wonderful kids who attend school in Wake County. Like most Americans, Shannon understands that policies on both sides can offer value to our country and community. We have more in common than different. It is important to find our similarities and work from there.
US House of Representatives: The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate comprise the two chambers of Congress.
- Virginia Foxx (Republican Party): Congresswoman Virginia Foxx currently represents North Carolina’s 5th District in the United States House of Representatives. Throughout her time in Congress (since 2017) Foxx has established herself as a champion of conservative values and has helped lead the national movements to reduce government spending and increase government oversight and accountability. Foxx believes in upholding the constitutional right of the 2nd Amendment, protecting life at all stages, ending human trafficking, and continuing America’s historically Judeo-Christian values.
- Kyle Parrish (Democratic Party): Kyle Parrish is a first-time candidate at the age of 56. He has been married for the past 16 years and has 4 children ranging in ages from 28 to 13. When asked why he is running Kyle answered: “ I am running because no candidate should go unopposed, much less a 9-term fixture. (Referring to Virginia Foxx) I am here to hold her accountable for her complete lack of action. No more free passes. Second, the citizens of the 5th deserve a representative who is fighting for ALL of them, from the smokies to Winston, not just those who don’t need it anyway.” Some of Parrish’s values and goals for his run for office include: Discontinuing Gerrymandering, protecting Roe v. Wade, ending mass incarceration, and providing affordable health care.
NC State Senate: The Senate consists of 50 members who serve a term of two years.
- Steve Jarvis (Republican): Steve moved to Davidson County with his parents at the age of 14, and immediately knew he wanted to make Davidson County his home for life. Steve has proven himself to be a successful business owner of 30 years as the Owner/President of Jarvis Construction, crediting his experience to working various jobs in the community and taking specific classes at DDCC to complete his General Contractors’ Unlimited License for Residential and Commercial Building in North & South Carolina. As a candidate for NC State Senate District 29, he accepts the responsibility and time that will be expected of him to consider every issue. Steve is a person of faith and believes that God should take precedence over our lives.
- Monique D. Johnson (Democratic): Monique Johnson is a 51-year-old Thomasville native. She earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University in 1993 and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997. When asked why she was running Johnson said: “I want to represent YOU. I know that I can make a difference in improving the lives of people living in our state. And I believe we should have legislators who can represent the people of both political parties. Largely, we all fundamentally care about the same things.” Some of her key areas of focus as a candidate include equity/inclusion, education, healthcare access, and the economy.
NC House of Representatives: The House of Representatives consists of 120 members serving two years. The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House who is elected by the members for a two-year term.
- Julia Howard (Republican): A strong pro-family legislator with two children and six grandchildren, family comes first for Rep. Howard. She is dedicated to preserving the quality of life and freedoms our families enjoy today for her grandchildren. Rep. Howard is serving her 14th two-year term in the NC House. In past years, Rep. Howard is well known for her work with welfare reform and the long-awaited passage of Jessica’s Law, legislation providing our children with critical new protections against sex offenders. She continues to work on child protection laws while being a constant ‘watchdog’ for small businesses. For instance, in 2014, Rep. Howard led the charge to reform North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system.
State Supreme Court: The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state’s highest court, and there is no further appeal from its decisions on matters of state law. It is made up of the Chief Justice, who also serves as head of the Judicial Branch, and six associate justices. Each justice serves an eight-year term.
- Seat Three:
- Richard Dietz (Republican Party): Judge Dietz comes from a mountain family of railroad and telephone workers. He was the first in his family to attend college. He went on to graduate first in his class from Wake Forest University School of Law and later earned a master’s degree from Duke University School of Law. As a lawyer, Judge Dietz became one of the most accomplished appellate advocates in North Carolina. He has personally argued in the U.S. Supreme Court—something only a handful of lawyers in the State has ever done—and is a board-certified specialist in appellate practice. Judge Dietz is happily married to Kelley Dietz, who is both the love of his life and his most trusted advisor. Kelley is a former Capitol Hill staffer and political appointee who now works in higher education.
- Lucy Inman (Democratic Party): Lucy Inman, a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, is a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2022. Judge Inman was raised in Raleigh by parents who taught her the value of hard work and respect for people of all races, faiths, and walks of life. She graduated from Sanderson High School and earned a degree in English from N.C. State University. She then moved to Chapel Hill and earned her law degree from UNC School of Law in 1990. In 2010, Judge Inman was appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to serve as a special superior court judge. She served in that role for four years. Judge Inman brings hard work and respect for all others to her personal and professional life every day. She hopes to bring these values, and equal justice for all, to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
- Seat Five:
- Sam Irvin IV (Democratic): Sam J. Ervin, IV, was born in Morganton, North Carolina. Justice Ervin was awarded an A.B., magna cum laude, from Davidson College. After graduating from Davidson, he attended Harvard Law School, from which he received a J.D., cum laude, in 1981. In 1999, Justice Ervin was nominated for a seat on the North Carolina Utilities Commission. During his service as a member of the Utilities Commission, Justice Ervin was involved in deciding many important regulatory matters, including, electric and natural gas rate proceedings, electric and natural gas business combination proceedings, proceedings involving the approval of telecommunications price regulation plans, and proceedings addressing issues relating to the adequacy of water and sewer service in certain specific locations. Justice Ervin was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals on November 4, 2008, general election, and served on that body until he took office as a Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He is married to Mary Temple Ervin and has two children and two step-children.
- Trey Allen (Republican): Trey Allen is the 47-year-old Republican candidate for Seat Five in the North Carolina State Supreme Court. Allen obtained his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from UNC-Pembroke and my law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a published staff member of the North Carolina Law Review. His current job includes serving as General Counsel for the NC Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC).
Board of Education:
- Joe Caudle (Republican Party): Joe Caudle has lived in Davie County since he was seven. After graduating from Davie with the Class of 89, Joe joined the US Marine Corps, four years later Joe then enlisted in the US National Guard. Joe Caudle is a father of two and a grandfather of three. Mr. Caudle claims “If elected I will absolutely and unequivocally ensure that voters, especially parents and caregivers, have a voice in the education of their children. I believe that parents/guardians have the responsibility to make any and all healthcare decisions for their children. I will never play politics with the well-being of our children’s physical or mental health. I will never vote to sacrifice a parent’s right to make those important decisions.”
- Marie Helms (Republican Party): Marie Helms is a 42-year-old, mother of two, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Marie has a bachelor’s degree from The University of North Dakota and is an Area Sales Manager for CSL Behring. In the community, Marie is very well known as she is an active member of Center Grove Baptist Church, the President of the Ellis Middle School Booster Club, a Make a Wish Ambassador, and continuously takes an active role in her children’s sports and extracurriculars. Marie Helms attributes her run for office to her daughter Ellianna. Some of the significant issues she finds Davie Public Schools are facing is the lack of accountability in the classroom as well as the current school systems not recognizing different kinds of success that isn’t associated with standardized testing.
- Con Shelton (Republican Party): Con Shelton is a 58, father of two, who graduated from Davie High in ‘89. He then attended UNC Charlotte, majoring in political science. Con currently works at Shelton Construction General Contractors and is a member of First United Methodist Church. When asked why he was running Mr. Shelton said “As a life-long resident of Davie County, I feel that it is vitally important to give back to our community. I am a product of the Davie County school system as are my parents and my children. I believe in quality public education for all students and I want current and future students to continue to have the same access to quality education that my family has experienced.” Mr. Shelton believes that some of the current issues plaguing Davie County Schools are lost educational time due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the current teacher shortage due to salary schedules and no reward for an advanced degree.