Almost all the attention is focused on the presidential race. Democrats generally do a good job of turning out to vote in presidential years; not so good the rest of the time. That is one of the reasons we have too many states controlled by Republicans and gridlock in Washington. If you followed politics closely since 2011 you know that most harm has been done at the state level. Today I’m asking my readers to focus on a down ballot race that will only appear in a relatively small geography in North Carolina. That is certainly not a reason to dismiss it! Races like these often have a life and death effect on everyday Americans.
Up until recently I lived in Franklin County North Carolina. It is a small mostly rural county just outside of Raleigh. For years it had been represented in the State Senate by a Democrat and its state senate district was comprised of Franklin and three similar adjacent counties. The consitituents shared similar challenges and desired the same things from their state government. With the Tea Party wave election of 2010 (where Democrats stayed home in too large a number) the Republicans took control of the North Carolina General Assembly and gerrymandered the district to include a portion of Wake County. Wake is a much different county comprised mainly of the city of Raleigh and surrounding suburbs. The new district was tailor made for a Republican. They then imported an aide to one of their leaders, Chad Barefoot, into the district. From the viewpoint of the Republicans Chad’s main virtue was obedience. He was young, inexperienced and willing to do what he was told.
Barefoot provides a reliable vote to pass bills like the discriminatory HB2 and Voter ID (read: suppression) Law. He has been instrumental in the siphoning off of tax dollars from traditional public schools to charter and private schools many of which are owned and/or controlled by Republican campaign contributors.
Considering the current political climate in North Carolina, the fact that we can reasonable hope for large Democratic turnout this year and that we have a great candidate; we have a decent chance of taking back the seat. It won’t be slam dunk easy, but it is doable.
Allow me to introduce my friend and the Democratic candidate for North Carolina Senate District 18, Gil Johnson. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Gil for several years. Let’s just talk about the man. Gil is an even tempered, cerebral guy who considers his actions and their repercussion very carefully before he takes them. He’s not the kind of person who would vote to pass laws that were destined to be ruled unconstitutional and would hurt North Carolina. I distinctly remember a private conversation we had that put him in a position where he had to make a decision between what was most opportune for him and what was best for the community. He chose the community.
Gil is a retired air traffic controller. Airplanes don’t have brakes so the guy or gal in the tower is the most important person in the world when you’re on a plane in crowded airspace. Gil knows the difference between a quick but prudent decision and a hasty one. More important he will always make the latter and not the former.
For the past 24 years Gil has lived in the community he hopes to represent. When it comes to knowing the state Gil certainly does; he was born in Duplin County North Carolina. Like many good people Gil’s resume is too long to post. He believes in serving the community; his two main avenues are youth recreation and traditional public education.
Gil has been involved in youth baseball and along with three other civic minded individuals is responsible for bringing it to his hometown of Youngsville, North Carolina. As someone who was President of a large youth community athletic association for years I know the skills required to grow and maintain such an entity. It takes a team of people and a lot of skill to keep them happy and coordinated; something like the skill it takes to be a good State Senator.
Gil has been on the Franklin County School Board for 12 years. He spent 4 years as its Chairman and two as its Vice Chairman. While technically non-partisan in North Carolina it is none the less an elected position. Gil is known to be a Democrat yet consistently wins in a Republican district. That says a lot about Mr. Johnson and the voters of his district!
While it is the second day in a row, this is only the second and will be the last time I will ask my domestic (foreign donations in American elections are illegal) readers to consider donating to a candidate. There will be a ton of dark money behind Senator Barefoot. That’s how they keep him in line and North Carolina moving backwards. Gil Johnson will be outspent but he can still win and if he does America will be better for it. 2016 has the potential to change a lot of things for the better in North Carolina and the nation. Gil Johnson taking back a North Carolina State Senate seat will be one of those positive steps.
Tellthetruthonthem.com proudly endorses Gil Johnson for the North Carolina Senate in District 18 and asks its readers to visit www.giljohnsonsenate.org .
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