Candidates pitch themselves to Democratic Women

Published 6:17 am Friday, October 24, 2008

By Staff
Range of office seekers speak at local restaurant
Staff Writer
The Beaufort County Democratic Women heard from a variety of candidates Wednesday night.
Sam. J. Ervin IV told the crowd that his experience on the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which is a specialized body that hears utilities-related matters, will make him a good candidate for the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
He also touted his experience arguing 18 cases before the North Carolina Supreme Court and said he would treat each person before the court with dignity and interest.
Three candidates for the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners spoke.
The Rev. Robert Cayton pushed his record of accomplishments during his time on the board, including the creation of voluntary agricultural districts, which are designed to help designate and preserve farmland in Beaufort County.
Cayton said he backs a comprehensive road plan, as well.
Jerry E. Langley said that his ability to listen carefully and make good decisions had helped him lead the county to back Eastern Carolina Behavioral Health to provide mental health services in the county.
Langley, who serves on Eastern Carolina’s board of directors, said it is in good financial position, but the other provider the county considered has since beggared itself.
L. Stewart Rumley, a former mayor of Washington, praised the Democratic members of the board, but said that the board needs some reforming.
He also said the county needs more white-collar jobs, in addition to low-skill jobs it has recently gained.
Only one Beaufort County Board of Education member facing an opponent, Robert Belcher, spoke.
Belcher praised the construction of the new John Small Elementary School building and the Early College High School and said those and other efforts were made possible by an improvement in relations with the Board of County Commissioners.
He said that a few years ago, inter-board relations were particularly hostile.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield was one of several people who spoke on behalf of candidates who didn’t attend Wednesday night. Butterfield was stumping for Kay Hagan, the Democratic candidate for U.S. senator.
Butterfield criticized Dole, saying she has been uninterested in North Carolina during her time representing the state in the Senate.
Three candidates spoke Wednesday night who faced no opposition.
Judge Mike Paul hasn’t had an opponent since 1992. He praised local judges.
Eltha Booth, a candidate for the Board of Education recalled winning her first election as a write-in candidate, and urged people to vote for her even though she doesn’t have an opponent.