NC State Rep. Jon Hardister, who is running for the job of NC Labor Commissioner, announced on Tuesday, Nov. 14 that, if elected, he’ll reinstate a practice that current NC Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson is putting an end to – that of having the Labor Commissioner’s picture in every elevator in the state.

While it’s a seemingly trivial matter, the truth is that, ever since the photos made former NC Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry a household name, the elevator picture has gained much more attention and status in the minds of North Carolinians than it deserves.

There are songs on YouTube written about it, including a love song to the Elevator Lady Cherie Berry.  There are a lot of good-humored jokes regarding the practice, and a lot more conversation generated than a simple photo in an elevator deserves.

It may result from the fact that, often, in an elevator, there’s nothing to focus on except that one haunting picture. And some elevators in the state are very slow, so riders may spend a long time studying the photo.

Regardless, while Dobson announced he’s ending the custom, it will not go away if Hardister wins that office. In a November 14 campaign email, complete with a mock-up of his picture adorning the elevator certificate, Hardister said he would keep the commissioners’ photo in each elevator in the state.

“Recently my friend Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson (who has endorsed me to succeed him) announced that he is going to remove the photo from inspection certificates in elevators,” Hardister wrote. “While I respect and understand Commissioner Dobson’s reasoning, I believe we should keep the photo in elevators. It puts a face with the name and humanizes the office. Most people I have heard from say they would like to keep the photos in elevators.”

He added, “If elected, one of my first actions will be to reinstate the photo on elevator inspection certificates.”