The endorsements for the 2022 midterm election are different from any of the past Rhino Times endorsements.
The divide between the parties has become so wide and the atmosphere so partisan that party affiliation is paramount.
On the national level, inflation and the economy are, according to poll after poll, the two most important issues to voters. The Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House – they own the economy. You don’t have to be an economist to know that pumping trillions of dollars into the economy is going to make inflation worse. But Democrats keeping pumping more and more money into an already overheated economy, and they are doing it without a single Republican vote – so much for bipartisanship.
At the state level, politics boils down to state House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore and President Pro Tem of the state Senate Phil Berger versus Gov. Roy Cooper.
Even Democrats in the legislature who supported the state budget in 2019 refused to vote to override Cooper’s veto, and the result was the state had no budget for two years.
No matter what they say when campaigning, in Raleigh, just like in Washington, on major issues the Democrats vote with Democrats and the Republicans vote with Republicans.
Unfortunately, the North Carolina Supreme Court is as partisan as the legislature, with decisions that involve politics being made on straight party-line votes. The Democrats are in favor of the courts, not the legislature, having the final say in redistricting – a case that is now before the US Supreme Court.
On a local level, all six Democratic Guilford County commissioners supported a 30 percent property tax increase in a year when people were already dealing with historic rates of inflation. The three Republicans opposed the exorbitant tax increase.
The Republicans running for the Guilford County Board of Education say they want to focus on basic education, making sure all students learn to read, write and do basic math. For some reason this is considered a radical idea. They also want to give parents more of a voice in the education of their children.
And that is why all the endorsements this year are for Republicans.
The top of the ballot in North Carolina is the race for the open U.S. Senate seat.
Republican three-term Sen. Richard Burr announced he would not run for a fourth term and the race was on. Open Senate seats don’t come around that often in North Carolina.
13th District Congressman Tedd Bud won the Republican primary by a larger than predicted margin and is facing Democrat Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
The two have spent millions of dollars on advertising, so voters should have a pretty good idea of where the two stand.
According to numerous polls, inflation and the economy are the top issues for voters. The Democrats currently control the House, the Senate and the White House, which means they have to own the economy. The Democrats would to be able to campaign on inflation going down, but it isn’t. The Inflation Reduction Act didn’t do anything to slow down inflation and experts say that it won’t. A lot of people think that we are already in a recession, and even some economists who say we aren’t predict we will be soon.
If Beasley is elected, she is going to go to Washington and support the failed economic policies of President Joe Biden, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Budd opposed those policies in the House and will continue to oppose them if he is elected to the Senate.
If you like the worst inflation in 40 years and an economy either in recession or on the brink, vote Beasley.
If you want to send someone to Washington to start solving the economic problems and at the very least put a stop to the runaway spending, vote Budd.
Some indications are that Budd is much farther ahead than the mainstream media will admit.
US House of Representatives, District 6
In the 6th District congressional race, first-time candidate Republican Christian Castelli is challenging Democratic incumbent Kathy Manning running for her second term.
Manning has been in Washington and voted for the bills and policies that put the economy in its current dismal state. Gas prices, despite what the Democrats say, were soaring before the war in Ukraine started. The far left, which controls the Democratic Party, likes high gas prices because it forces people to drive less, use less fossil fuel and helps fight climate change. They don’t seem to care that it also makes it much more expensive for people to drive to work, take their kids to school or go to the grocery store.
Manning supported all the bills that put the country in the situation it is now.
If Castelli is elected, he won’t. The Democrats can’t or won’t solve the problems with the economy. The Inflation Reduction Act – just another tax-and-spend bill from the Democrats – which Manning supported, has done nothing to reduce inflation and, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, it won’t and it may even cause a slight increase in inflation.
Castelli is asking for the opportunity to go to Washington and try to fix the mess the Democrats have made of the economy, and not by passing more trillion dollar spending bills or offering more taxpayer funded handouts to more people.
NC Supreme Court Associate Justice
The two North Carolina Supreme Court races are considered by many to be the most crucial races on the ballot for the future of North Carolina.
Despite what judicial candidates say on political issues, the NC Supreme Court votes along party lines.
The current Democratic majority on the NC Supreme Court has taken over redistricting in the state. There is currently a case before the US Supreme Court that may give that power back to the state legislature, which is where both the US and state constitutions place that power. But it may not, which means if the Democrats continue to control the NC Supreme Court, redistricting will continue to be done by the state Supreme Court, not by the legislature.
The Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court also appears to favor the courts, not the legislature, deciding how schools should be funded. If the state Supreme Court has the power to set the state budget, it makes you wonder what purpose the legislature serves.
These issues are purely partisan. The state legislature has a Republican majority and the state Supreme Court has a Democratic majority.
The best way to stop the NC Supreme Court from usurping all the power in the state, is to elect Richard Dietz for Seat 3 and Trey Allen for Seat 5. Both are imminently qualified to serve on the state Supreme Court.
Republican NC Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dietz is running against Democrat NC Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman.
Republican Trey Allen, who works for the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, is running against Democrat NC Supreme Court Associate Justice Sam Ervin.
Justice Ervin is known as Jimmy Ervin everywhere but on the ballot and in his political campaigns. He is the grandson of Sen. Sam Ervin and, who knows, some voters may think they are voting for Sen. Sam himself.
NC Court of Appeals
There are four seats up for the North Carolina Court of Appeals. All the candidates are well qualified. Judicial candidates are prohibited from making statements about any case that may come before them, which is kind of like legislative candidates not being allowed to talk about how they would vote on legislation.
But the NC Court of Appeals can be seen as a breeding ground for the NC Supreme Court and North Carolina desperately needs more Republican justices on the NC Supreme Court because we need justices who will interpret the Constitution and laws of the state, not rewrite them or read into them what they would like to see.
In NC Court of Appeals Seat 8, Republican Julee Tate Flood is facing Democrat Carolyn Jennings Thompson.
In NC Court of Appeals Seat 9, Democrat District Court Judge Brad A. Salmon is running against Republican Chief Judge of the NC Court of Appeals Donna Stroud.
In NC Court of Appeals Judge Seat 10, Republican NC Court of Appeals Judge John M. Tyson is facing Superior Court Judge Democrat Gale Murray Adams.
In NC Court of Appeals Judge Seat 11 Democrat NC Court of Appeals Judge Darren Jackson is running against Republican District Court Judge Michael J. Stading.
NC State Senate District 26
In NC State Senate District 26, President Pro Tem of the state Senate Sen. Philip E. (Phil) Berger is running unopposed, but he would still appreciate you vote.
NC State Senate District 27
Democrat District 27 state Sen. Michael Garrett running for his third term is being opposed by Republican candidate Richard (Josh) Sessoms.
This is a race that would make more sense if it was a Democratic primary. Sessoms supports raising the minimum wage and using some of the rainy day fund to give teachers raise. Garrett supports a gas refund tax of $200 each and using money from the rainy day fund “to offer further relief for residents.”
Sessoms is for a tax holiday multiple times a year.
Both want to expand Medicaid, are in favor of medical marijuana and increased funding for schools.
Sessoms is opposed to 0 percent corporate tax and Garrett is opposed to the current tax policies of the state.
One area in which the two do differ is in firearms control. Sessoms is in favor of more firearms ownership and Garrett is in favor of a ban on assault weapons, “red flag” laws and universal background checks.
Based on the stands on the Second Amendment, a close call goes to Sessoms.
NC State Senate District 28
Democrat District 28 NC state Sen. Gladys Robinson is being challenged in her bid for a seventh term by Republican Paul Schumacher.
Robinson is a Democrat in a chamber run by Republicans. In the last session she was the first primary sponsor of one bill that passed, and that had to do with the accreditation of Bennett College. Most of her bills go straight to the Rules Committee, where they stay.
District 28 is in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, but voters do have a choice – they can vote for Schumacher who, on his campaign website, says he will “strive to bring operational control for everything not an enumerated power in the Constitution back to the State Government, such as education, health care, abortion, welfare, unemployment, all things that can be handled more efficiently and responsively on a smaller statewide scale.”
NC House of Representatives District 57
District 57 Democrat State Rep. Ashton Clemmons is being challenged in her bid for a third term by Republican candidate Michelle C. Bardsley.
Clemmons on her campaign website notes that she has been a primary of sponsor of 33 bills; what she doesn’t mention is the 30 of those bills are still in committee and only three have become law. Of the bills where Clemmons is the first primary sponsor, none have become law.
Clemmons easily won reelection in 2020, but the district has been redrawn to make it more competitive. This is race that Bardsley could win if Republicans in the 57th District get out and vote. In midterm elections it is always a question of which party is more motivated to vote and gets the most people to the polls. District 57 provides an opportunity for Republicans to flip a seat.
Both candidates have a background in education, with Bardsley also having business experience. Bardsley is in favor of the Republic effort to continue to lower the tax burden on individuals as well as corporations. The economic boom in the state came after the Republicans lowered the tax rates, and that the increase in economic activity has allowed the Republican legislature to continue to lower taxes while increasing funding for education and public safety as well as building a considerable rainy day fund, which may be needed during the coming recession.
NC House of Representatives District 58
Democrat District 58 state Rep. Amos Quick, running for his fourth term, is being challenged by Republican candidate Chrissy Smith.
Quick served on the Guilford County Board of Education for 12 years before being elected to the state House. He is the senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. Before becoming a pastor, Quick performed as a stand-up comedian.
District 58 is a heavily Democratic district that has overwhelmingly supported Quick.
Smith states on her website that her interest in politics was a result of her profession as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor was deemed nonessential during the COVID-19 restrictions and she lost her job.
She states, “During this time, I looked for how I could become involved in government, that this unconstitutional overreach never happens again.”
Currently a professor at Guilford Technical Community College, Smith says that she sees the product of Guilford County Schools and how more and more remedial courses have to be offered to recent high school graduates. Smith wants to get elected to change how things are currently being done.
NC House of Representatives District 59
In the District 59 state House race, even liberal Democrats should vote for Republican District 59 state Rep. Jon Hardister over his Democratic challenger Sherrie Young.
According to the latest campaign finance report filed, Young has raised no money and has no money in her campaign finance account. According to the report, she donated $140 to her campaign and then paid herself $140 for “holding office.” Since she doesn’t hold any office how she could have expenses for holding office is unknown.
Young was also charged with firing a gun in the city limits and “going armed to the terror of the people.” Her court date for that was in September but was continued until December.
Hardister is currently the House majority whip, and when Greensboro has a bill it needs to get passed, the call goes to Hardister. Mayor Nancy Vaughan says that Hardister has always been helpful with local bills for Greensboro.
Hardister was first elected to the state House in 2012 as one of the youngest members of the House and is now running for his sixth term.
NC House of Representatives District 60
Democrat District 60 state Rep. Cecil Brockman, running for his fifth term, is being challenged by Republican Bob Blasingame.
In answer to a survey question, Brockman said his number one priority was having the minimum wage to a living wage and providing affordable housing. Blasingame said his was to do what the state could do to provide increased opportunities and benefit the people of state House District 60.
Blasingame describes himself as a “grassroots conservative” who would not support a constitutional amendment to codify abortion because life begins at conception.
Brockman says he would support a constitutional amendment to protect access to legal abortion.
NC House of Representatives District 61
Democrat District 61 state Rep. Mary Price (Pricey) Harrison is running unopposed for her 10th term in the state House.
NC House of Representatives District 62
In the District 62 state House race, Republican state Rep. John Faircloth is being challenged by Democrat Brandon Gray.
Gray has branded Faircloth as a “career politician.” A career “public servant” seems more accurate. Faircloth’s first career was in law enforcement. After he retired as High Point Police chief, he became a real estate broker and served on the High Point City Council. Faircloth is now running for his seventh term in the NC House.
Faircloth, as a retired police chief, is the go-to guy in the House on law enforcement and emergency management issues and is currently co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Faircloth has consistently voted to lower state taxes for the people of North Carolina.
Gray supports the typical Democratic policies of solving problems by spending more money.
None of the Democratic candidates for judge in Guilford County have opponents.
NC Superior Court Judge District 18-C • Seat 1: Stuart Albright
NC District Court Judge District 18 • Seat 1: Marc Ross Tyrey
NC District Court Judge District 18 • Seat 2: Larry L. Archie
District Attorney • District 24
Democrat District Attorney Avery Michelle Crump has no opponent.
Board of Commissioners At-Large
The At-large Guilford County Board of Commissioners race, where Democrat At-large Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion is being challenged by Republican former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson is like old timey politics before attack ads were invented.
Cashion and Branson are friends and they both admit it. They genuinely like and respect each other. Cashion has been on the Board of Commissioners for 18 years, and for eight of those years she served with Branson, and for two with Branson as chairman.
There are no sneaky personal attacks in this race, the two simply disagree on policy.
One large disagreement was on the stealth 30 percent tax increase Cashion supported and voted for and Branson opposed. Stealthy because the Board of Commissioners didn’t raise the property tax rate, but this was a reevaluation year and property values went up about 30 percent, so taxpayers are paying an average of 30 percent more in property taxes and Guilford County has 30 percent more in property tax revenue to spend, all without raising the actual tax rate.
At a time when people are struggling to pay their bills because of historic inflation and gas prices, the taxpayers of Guilford County didn’t need a historic property tax increase to further deplete their funds.
Board of Commissioners District 1
Democrat District 1 Guilford County Commissioner J. Carlvena Foster is running unopposed.
Board of Commissioners District 2
Republican District 2 Guilford County Commissioner Alan Perdue might be termed the quiet conservative on the board. He is running for this third term against Democrat Paul Meinhart. Perdue retired as the director of the Guilford County Department of Emergency Services before running for commissioner in 2014.
On his campaign website Meinhart lists, “Saving the Environment” as his top issue. Other issues include, “Healthcare For All,” “Establishing Living Wages” and “Equality/LGBT+ Issues.”
Perdue has voted for tax decreases and opposed the massive property tax increase in this year’s budget. He goes about his job without much fanfare, but he gets the job done.
Perdue consistently argues for commonsense solutions and conservative values. He deserves another four-year term.
Board of Commissioners District 3
The District 3 Guilford County Board of Commissioners race is for an open seat. Republican District 3 Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad did not run for reelection.
Republican District 3 Guilford County Board of Education member Pat Tillman and Democrat Derek Mobley are running for the District 2 seat.
Tillman has served on the school board since 2016, and although Republicans are in a minority on the board, he has found a way to get things done, with a particular concentration on career technical education (CTE).
Tillman is a former Marine and an Iraq War combat veteran. He is a conservative Republican who opposed the 30 percent tax hike the Board of Commissioners passed this year.
Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston has plenty of Democratic votes to further his tax-and-spend policies and he doesn’t need one more.
Mobley seems primarily interested in Guilford County Schools, which is interesting since he’s running against a school board member.
Board of Commissioners District 7
Democrat District 7 Guilford County Commissioner Frankie T. Jones Jr. was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in March to replace Commissioner Carolyn Coleman, who died in January.
Jones gets to run as an incumbent even though he was not elected. But Jones did get appointed to the Board of Commissioners in time to vote for a 30 percent tax increase – one of the largest in the history of Guilford County.
Republican District 7 County Commissioner candidate Kenny Abbe says he will not support tax increases and will work to cut wasteful spending. Since the Board of Commissioners raised taxes by 30 percent in an election year, it’s hard to imagine what they may do in an off year.
Board of Education
The four Republicans running for seats on the Guilford County Board of Education, District 4 Guilford County Board of Education member Linda Welborn, District 2 Board of Education candidate Crissy Pratt, District 6 Board of Education candidate Tim Andrew and At-large Board of Education candidate Demetria Carter have been running as a team, so we will honor that and endorse the entire team.
The team has been running under the New Vision & New Direction banner and has been endorsed by Take Back Our Schools-GCS.
Andrew states the New Vision & New Direction philosophy pretty succinctly on his website when he states, “My focus is a return to the fundamentals of educating our children, empowering parents, supporting teachers and staff, ensuring student success and security, and promoting financial accountability.”
With $2 billion in bond money to spend on school construction, there has never been a better time for financial accountability from the schools.
Pratt in a survey expressed the goal to “Increase academic performance by returning our educational programs to focus on the basics of reading, writing and the other core subjects. Implement a zero-tolerance discipline policy. Our schools have become a place of disruption which is preventing teachers from teaching.”
On her campaign website Carter states, “The most important teachers in children’s lives are their parents. Stand with me and say yes to truly educating our children and preparing them for future success. I am an advocate or parents having the right to know what their children are being taught in school and having the right to object if they find the curriculum offensive, hateful or divisive.”
Those quotes seem to offer a pretty good indication of why the New Vision & New Direction team is running.
Board of Education At-Large
This is an open seat because At-large Board of Education member Winson McGregor chose not to run for reelection.
Republican Demetria Carter and Democrat Alan Sherouse are the two candidates.
Board of Education District 2
This is an open seat because District 2 Board of Education member Anita Sharpe decided not to run for reelection.
Democrat Amanda Cook and Republican Crissy Pratt are running for the District 2 Board of Education seat.
Board of Education District 4
Republican District 4 Board of Education member Linda Welborn is being challenged by Democrat Deon Clark.
Board of Education District 6
Democrat Board of Education member Khem D. Irby is being challenged by Republican Tim Andrew.
Board of Education District 8
Democrat District 8 Board of Education member Deena Hayes-Green, who is chair of the Guilford County Board of Education, is running unopposed.
Clerk of Superior Court
Democrat Clerk of Superior Court Lisa Y. Johnson-Tonkins has no opponent
Democrat Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers is being challenged by Republican Phil Byrd.
When Rogers took office in January 2017, he fired 25 deputies reportedly because he perceived them as being loyal to the administration of former Sheriff BJ Barnes. Rogers didn’t give the deputies an opportunity to prove that they would continue to do their jobs to the best of their ability, he fired them.
The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office like just about every law enforcement office in the state has a shortage of officers. Most agencies do what they can to keep experienced officers on the rolls because they are so hard to replace. The Sheriff’s Department under Rogers also has a shortage of officers, but it’s much worse than it would be because Rogers greatly increased the deficit for political reasons.
If elected, Byrd says he doesn’t plan to fire anyone for political reasons or just because they were hired by Rogers. It represents a completely different philosophy on how the sheriff’s office should be run.
Even though Rogers has now been sheriff for four years, Byrd has far more experience in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, having served there for 30 years with over 10 years at the command level before retiring in 2014.
Byrd says that he wants to bring “responsible leadership” to the sheriff’s office and he should get that opportunity.
Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor
In the only nonpartisan race on the ballot, David Crawford, Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Josh Myers, Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Anna Gerringer Amoriello and Joshua (Fox) Brown are running for two seats on the board.
Myers and Amoriello appear to be the best choices.
Voter Myers and Amoriello