|Darkhorse candidate gets warm and familiar welcome|
|Gubernatorial hopeful Spaulding stumps at home|
|Published Tuesday, August 5, 2014 7:17 pm|
|N.C. gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Spaulding greets supporters last month at a Durham reception. Spaulding faces an uphill battle in the Democratic race, which is expected to include Attorney General Roy Cooper.|
DURHAM – It was a Spaulding family affair during gubernatorial candidate Ken Spaulding’s recent meet and greet with the public.
Spaulding, his wife Wendy, and cousin Vince, were just a few of the family members who thanked residents for coming out. Spaulding said the reception was a way to show his appreciation to those who have supported him since his candidacy for governor announcement a year ago.
“There’s been so many people who have been so kind to us,” he said. “We’ve been campaigning all across the state, and we have people from all different counties here.”
Spaulding said the 2016 election is a people’s campaign. So often candidates focus on their running, but in North Carolina it’s all about the people.
He decided to run he said when he did not see things happening the way he would’ve hoped.
“People are hurting out here,” he said. “I really hoped our leaders would’ve stepped forward to really take on this McCrory administration and the extremist legislative majority.”
Attorney General Roy Cooper is also expected to run for governor, but Spaulding said Cooper has been defending many of Gov. Pat McCrory’s policies like “voter suppression, (no) teacher tenure and (lack of) marriage equality.”
“Roy Cooper’s office has been defending those actions, so if he had planned to be the nominee, then I think (it’d be) a good race between the two of us. The voters would get a chance to have a choice as to who they think best represents them,” he said.
Debra Johnson said she wants to see improvements in North Carolina’s education and tax system.
“There’s several things that are going on now in North Carolina. It’s not fair. Asking you to show ID for the vote; that’s not fair,” she said. “Several things I’m not pleased with now in North Carolina.”
Wendy Spaulding said as potential first lady, she hopes to tackle the state’s poverty problem.
“It’s something that’s very dear and close to my heart as someone who grew up poor, I understand the face of poverty and all I have to do is look in the mirror and I see it,” she said.
Vince Spaulding, who serves as campaign treasurer, said one of the most interesting and gratifying parts of campaigning has been to see how receptive folks are to Spaulding’s campaign.
“When we call folks and ask them for contributions, everybody seems to be enthusiastic about his willingness to run and his possibility of being successful,” he said.
When asked what he thought about the possibility of North Carolina electing a black governor, family friend Ed Ellis said ,“I think it’s time for North Carolina to have a black governor, and he could be, and would be, I think, the first to do that; and if he makes it, that would be a plus for our great state.”
Durham County Commissioner Brenda Howerton, who is a friend of Wendy Spaulding, said she doesn’t think “black or white” matters.
“I think having the right person in office that cares about the community and cares about the people of the state is the main thing – doesn’t matter what color they are,” she said.
Spaulding said he plans to get votes according to his ethics and not his ethnicity.
“This election will be in 2016 and, yeah, they’ll have presidential elections, but I want to be able to at least convey the message so that we all together realize something that I didn’t realize awhile back: The federal government can’t do everything,” he said. “We see on the Affordable Care Act how we tried nationally. They came forth with the legislation to help people, but here in North Carolina on the state level, we did not go along with Medicaid expansion, so therefore we have over half a million people that need health care in North Carolina who are suffering. So these decisions are not only federal decisions that take place and impact our lives, but, in particular, our state and local elections are very important in our everyday lives.”
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