Cox seeks seat on board

Published 7:27 pm Saturday, December 14, 2013

Don Cox

Don Cox


Don Cox, who’s seeking a seat on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, said that he, if elected, would be accessible and accountable to all county residents.

Cox, running as a Republican, is a Beaufort County native and country music singer. Cox said commissioners must address short-term and long-term issues by keeping what’s best for county residents in mind when voting on matters that affect them.

Cox talked about the issue of whether the county needs a new jail.

“At this time, with the economy the way it is, or even if the economy was really good, I can’t make sense out of spending that amount of money, especially right now in these economic times. I cannot see raising taxes on people during this stressful time. We do have unemployment somewhere around 10 to 12 percent,” Cox said. “So, for me to go tell people, the working class in Beaufort County, that we’re going to raise your taxes to build a new facility, I don’t agree with it — not right now.”

Cox said he’s not toured the existing jail, but it’s something he plans to do. Perhaps improving the existing jail is the way to go, he said.

“I do believe an upgrade is going to be the best thing because you can do it for a fraction of the cost (of building a new jail). That’s where I stand right now,” Cox said.

Cox said commissioners should find ways to help ease the high unemployment rate in the county. Easing some restrictions on the commercial fishing industry and other industries that are regulated could be a way for those industries to put people to work, Cox said.

“In the past years, that’s kind of what built towns like Belhaven — the fishing industry. If it meant having the authority to relax some of the restrictions, not just for the waterways — within reason now — if we had the authority to do it … I would be willing to relax some of the restrictions, within reason,” Cox said.

Cox would like to see some of the commissioners come from areas outside of the Washington area.

“There are nine communities in Beaufort County … so I would be the only commissioner, if I got elected, that represents outside of Washington,” Cox said.

“I have been very blessed to be born in Beaufort County and realized from growing up around Belhaven no dreams are too big. I am so grateful to be raised with traditional small town family values and fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel our great nation. Through my travels I know and appreciate what home means. Beaufort County is home and its people are my family. This has been demonstrated throughout my career in voluntary fundraising events spanning 30+ years that have yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars for Beaufort County citizens in need. My fundraising efforts well exceed my personal income,” Cox wrote in a press release about his candidacy.

“There are serious issues facing all the citizens of Beaufort County. We are living in very difficult economic times. If elected, my vote will always be considerate of my fellow citizens and their well-being. My responsibility is to everyone regardless of race, religion or economic status. All people deserve a voice. I just want to be part of the solution and not the problem. As a father, I know we all have an interest in the future,” he wrote.

“Beaufort County’s future depends on what we do today. I would like to be someone who makes a difference both in the short and long term. I live by the philosophy to be a good chief, you must be a good Indian. I plan on being here for the long haul and want to thank you in advance for your support,” Cox wrote.

Cox said another factor that motivated him to seek a seat on the board was experiences he had dealing with county offices several years ago. Those experiences led him to believe that improvements in the delivery of county services could be improved.

Asked why people should vote for him, Cox said, “Because I love Beaufort County and I want the best for the people here. I’ve always been a do-er. I’m not a doorway stander. … People who stand in doorways, I ask them to get out of the way because I’m going to work. I think people who know me know I do that.”

Cox, who makes his home in the North Creek community, has a 10-year-old daughter, Brianna.

The filing period for statewide and county offices begins at noon Feb. 10, 2014, ends at noon Feb. 28, 2014, according to Anita Bullock Branch, deputy director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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