Dear Friends and Voters,
This weekend, I traveled to Carteret County and had the opportunity to meet the members of the Democratic Club in Morehead City. I also attended an event nearby in Harlowe. After meeting the Carteret County Democrats, I have nothing but praise for them in their struggles with the Republicans, particularly the Republican County Commissioners there.
For those who are not aware, out state has been the focus of continued growth. While it is good that our state is continuing to be a haven for retirees and other transplants, the new growth brings new problems and new challenges, especially to our coastal regions like Carteret, Onslow or Dare County.
What has been happening in Carteret is that real estate developers come in from elsewhere. They apply for permission to put up a development. Permission has been granted by the Republican-controlled commissioners, without any thought to its impact on the community. People who are natives find that their property taxes have increased and that their properties now have an inflated value. Moreover, the developers build, sell and then leave. There is no thought to infrastructure and it is left up to the taxpayers to put in new roads or new schools, all of which can be expensive. Mental health services have been eliminated, leading to more crime by people who are more in need of mental health treatment than they are of prison and overcrowding.
Clearly, we as a society can do better and other Democrats in Carteret think so too. Three of them are running for seats as county commissioners, Wade Nelms, Hugh “Buck” Wilde and Tina Willis Rodriguez; one is running for sheriff, Frank Galizia. And the chair of the Carteret Democrats is Sean Conner. He is young, energetic and enthusiastic. On a shoestring budget, he and other volunteers are trying to educate the voters and get the word out about what is happening and why the public should vote for the Democratic candidates. He and the volunteers are to be applauded for their hard work and efforts. I hope it will pay off.
Last week, I mentioned that I was in Jacksonville at a non-partisan forum hosted by the Onslow County Council on Women. Again, this group is to be applauded for doing its work to educate the public about the candidates. I met many of the candidates, from Ed Brown who is running for the sheriff, to Craig Weber, who is running against Walter Jones, for the 3rd Congressional District Seat, as well as candidates for the state legislature. Sheriff Brown is a truly Christian man. So is Sheriff Galizia. No one likes crime and the fact that individuals who engage in truly criminal conduct. But I was impressed that both men have somehow retained their sense of decency and humanity in doing their jobs. We as members of the public are fortunate to have men like this as public servants. That is what public service is supposed to be about.
Again, I am on the campaign trail this week. There is meet-the- candidates forum in Bunn and a sorority in Garner and then a forum in Asheville that is a joint effort of the local bar and the league of women voters. Hope to see you there!
Rachel Lea Hunter