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The only good thing about the end of September on Friday is that the next day brings with it the October Big Country Breakfast put on by the Women's Club. It's Saturday, October 1, beginning at the usual hour of 8:00 am, at the HQ, and lasting until 10:00 or so. The election is getting into high gear, we have pocket ballots and lots of other election information available for you, and the best possible people to tell you all you need to know about the candidates and the election.
Most of you already know all you need to know about the breakfast (this is our seventh year of doing them) but, for those new to politics or the area, the breakfast includes pancakes and sausage, egg casserole, fruit, coffee and OJ, and desserts to die for, all served up by the stalwarts of the Women's Club and their allies out on the grill. We ask for a $5.00 minimum donation, but the expenses of the election are rapidly rising, and thjese breakfasts are the major, indispensable, fundraisers for our election operations. Please be as generous as you can.
Take three minutes before the debate tonight to enjoy the faces of these kids...
First you win, then you get good.
-Old Coach's Axiom
Few people really appreciate that serving as County Commissioner is, in the end, a considerable commitment to public service. Commissioners are paid a small salary intended to cover their expenses, but it never does, and the demands on their time never end. These people are public servants in the finest tradition of small-town America, and we need to remember that.
What brings this to mind now is that two Democrats, one a sitting commissioner and another a candidate for election as commissioner in November, were called upon do what public servants always do: volunteer their time to serve on an advisory board, in this case the Board of Health. Ray Gasperson is the sitting commissioner and Penny Padgett is the candidate:
Thanks to Ray and Penny for taking on this burden for us. We need them.
The people at Public Policy Polling released this summary of the election here in NC today, and it has some seriously good news for Democrats. First, and most important: Roy Cooper has a solid lead over McCrory for governor. Not strike-up-the-band stuff yet, but very heartening to see with just 48 days left to go. We badly need to win the governor's race.
More good news is that Deborah Ross, our virtually-unknown candidate for US Senate, is dead-even with our two-term incumbent Senator Richard Burr. He's nobody's idea of a bomb-throwing Tea Partier, but he's a solid Republican and a proven vote-getter and there's no reason he shouldn't be clobbering Deborah Ross. He's not.
Less-good news is that Hillary Clinton isn't beating the Donald. She's not losing to him either, but being tied with such a preposterous candidate this late in the game is not a good thing. Clinton does have one thing going for her, namely that the Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not make the ballot in North Carolina, but the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson did. The Greens suck away votes from Democrats (thank you, Ralph Nader), the Libertarians from Republicans, and that could make a difference if it's really close.
Game on, people: the end is in sight, and the thing is doable...
This is what they look like, and we have lots of them for you to pass out during the election. Remember, these are the pocket ballots, not replicas of the ballot you will see when you vote, but a sequential list of the candidates we want the voters to support. You will find no Republicans on them, nor any candidates running unopposed. We do have a number of good Democrats who are running unopposed: good for them, but if they vote for themselves they're going to win, and we're always desperate for space on the ballot.
These are the candidates that we need to bring home in November, so spend some time studying the pocket ballot, and compare it to the actual sample ballot that voters will see either by mail or on the screens (it's here) so that you can explain to voters how to use the handy pocket ballots. Voting absentee by mail is underway now, so if you know anyone voting that way, make sure to get them a pocket ballot. They're available now at the HQ.
The Board of Elections started sending out the absentee ballots yesterday (9/9), so voting for the fall election in now officially underway. Our absentee window is the earliest in the nation, we found out yesterday from PBS; what a relief to hear our name on the national news for something that isn't embarrassing.
Our Pocket Ballots are nearing completion, and should be available shortly. Don't vote -- absentee or any other way -- without one!
That's, from the left, Rhonda Lewis, Penny Padgett, and Russell Mierop, all smiles at the thought of taking on the Republicans in the campaign. Come to the convention in April to meet them and get started on the long hard road to November...