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Women lead in declaring candidacies
Commissioner Roberts aims for congressional seat
 
Published Monday, February 13, 2012 3:40 pm
by Herbert L. White

Women dominated the first day of filing for political office in Mecklenburg County.

Mecklenburg Commissioner Jennifer Roberts is trying to move up to a congressional seat, while Robin Bradford is among a group of newcomers campaigning for the first time to earn a seat in Raleigh.

Roberts, a Democrat who announced last year she wouldn’t seek re-election to the county board, is running for the to represent the Ninth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She could wind up facing fellow commissioner Jim Pendergraph, who has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination. Incumbent Sue Myrick announced last week she wouldn’t seek re-election. District 9 has elected Republicans since 1952.

"I believe that America is strongest when we all work together and I promise to work tirelessly to represent all of the people of the 9th District in an open, ethical and positive manner,” Roberts said in a statement. “Together, we will get Washington back to work as we get Americans back to work."

Bradford, a longtime community activist, is running to represent N.C. House District 92 in her first campaign. Her platform will be economic development and job creation.

“We need to concentrate on the real issues facing North Carolina families today, jobs, economic vitality, and strengthening our educational system; which have largely been ignored for the past two years,” she said. “We don’t need to waste time on voter ID bills, cutting a half cent sales tax targeted to improve our educational system and develop infrastructure, interfere with women’s health rights and trying to defund Pre-K educational programs. These are wedge issues used to hide the fact that for the last two years the legislature has no solutions for the real problems that we face. This is why I am running.”

Bradford was appointed to the Mecklenburg County Redistricting Board representing District 3 and a member of the NC Democratic Party County and State Executive Committees and chair of Precinct 134. She has also been active in activist circles as an executive board member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Chapter of the NAACP and first vice chair of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

N.C. Rep. Ruth Samuelson is campaigning for another term in the N.C. House. Samuelson, a Republican, represents District 104.

“It has been my privilege to represent the people of District 104 for the last five years,” Samuelson said in a statement. “Since the new districts were set last year, I’ve enjoyed spending time getting to know the people of the new 104 better. And I look forward to doing much more of that in the coming months.”

The district includes south Charlotte, but has been redrawn to take in more neighborhoods along Providence Road, Pineville-Matthews Road and Sardis Road North.  It extends east to Monroe Road, taking in East Mecklenburg High School and surrounding neighborhoods.

Others filing on Monday include incumbent Mecklenburg commissioner Vilma Leake and Carla Cunningham, widow of former N.C. Rep. Pete Cunningham, in House District 106. Connie Green-Johnson is campaigning for the District 6 Mecklenburg commissioners seat held by Republican Bill James.


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