Morehead City, N.C.
Feb. 26, 2020
TO THE EDITOR:
As a lifelong Republican, and one who is strong in my Christian faith, I feel it is my duty to bring to light what is happening in our local Republican politics.
In the past, I have put a fair amount of trust in the local Tea Party endorsements. After recently attending the candidates forum at the county Republican headquarters, however, I was shocked at what I saw “behind the curtain.” Ephesians 5:11 says “Have nothing to do with the fruitless seeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
The candidates endorsed by the Tea Party generally seemed to assume that they had their races locked up. Bob Cavanaugh, as the incumbent County Commissioner in District 3, did not seem to have a prepared speech as to why he should be re-elected. His challenger, Chimer Clark, gave an informative speech about his experience as a former Marine, and a small business owner.
During the Q&A time, Mr. Clark was asked a question about funding for the school system. Before he could completely answer, Mr. Eddie Bo Wheatly (incumbent candidate for District 5 county commissoner’s seat) abruptly shot the question down saying that questions regarding educational funding should be directed toward the Board of Education candidates. Nobody contested this, and the conversation was closed. What’s disturbing about this, however, is that the county commissioners are responsible for funding the school system. Sadly, no one was willing to challenge Mr. Wheatly on this point.
Regarding the board of education candidates, the Tea Party has endorsed Mr. Buttery for District 2. One of the attendees asked Mr. Buttery about how often he had attended the board of education meetings. This person said she had been attending almost every BOE meeting over the past year, and she had never seen him before. Mr. Buttery admitted that he had seldom ever attended a BOE meeting. When asked the same question his challenger, Mrs. Katie Statler, indicated she had attended most of the BOE meetings over the past two years. How can the local Tea Party responsibly endorse a candidate who has shown no real interest in the race he is running?
The western schools are bursting at the seams (with more growth coming), and the MaST school has had trouble getting local support. When a sitting commissioner refuses to allow discussion about local school funding, it shows we desperately need change on the local level in our Republican leadership.
To my fellow Christians, I would encourage you to thoroughly research the candidates. There are many who run under the “Christian conservative” flag, who don’t behave like true Christians. There was no sense of Christian fellowship at the candidates forum, despite the Tea Party running ads in the News Times recently about their endorsed “Christian conservatives” running for office.
I encourage you to consider Chimer Clark, Katie Statler and Andrea Beasley in their races.