Kirk, Clarence, Val…and Wesley

Not much has changed in two years.

There’s still a chain link fence around the Market House, and Kirk deViere has some work to do to keep his N.C. Senate seat.

Former District Court Judge, Clarence “Ed” Donaldson, and former City Council member, Val Applewhite have filed to run against deViere in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Donaldson lost to deViere in the 2018 Democratic primary, running under his given name “Clarence”:

Donaldson will appear on the ballot as “Ed” this time around. Fool me once?

The winner of the Democratic primary is likely to face Wesley Meredith (R), who also filed this week.

Meredith has been longing for his old seat for the past four years. He’s lost to deViere twice now, but perhaps Meredith believes that a nation-wide Republican surge in response to the floundering Biden Administration will give him an advantage in 2022. He may be right.

This is a good time to remind folks that in 2018, I predicted the result of the Meredith/deViere race within a few hundredths of a percentage point:

Might be time to get the calculator out again.

The List Keeps Growing in NC-04

A few weeks ago, former Fayetteville Mayor, Nat Robertson, announced that he is running for Congress in the new 4th District.

He’s got some company:

Here’s a map showing the new 4th District in pink:

Redistricting in N.C.: New maps approved, favoring GOP

A Republican Primary featuring Robertson and Szoka will be an intriguing political battle.

It also scares me a bit.

To win the primary, they will have to appeal to rural, white voters in Harnett, Johnson, and Sampson counties. This is farm country, and these are Trump supporters. Many have shouted “Let’s Go Brandon” in the recent past.

There’s a hatred simmering under the surface in America right now, and a lot of politicians are fanning the flames for personal gain. Here’s one of them, also running for Congress in North Carolina:

Madison Cawthorn - White Nationalist | TMB

Szoka and Robertson have always been able to stay above the partisan fray. They’ve built consensus in their respective arenas and each has done a great deal of good for Cumberland County. I’ll just say it: both men are statesmen and either would represent us well in Washington.

I just hope they don’t lose their souls trying to out-Republican one another. We’ve got enough of that going on right now.


Charles Graham is a Democrat from Robeson County running for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

He kicked off his campaign with a two-minute advertisement, entitled Hayes Pond:

The video quickly gained national media attention. It’s got millions of views. Today, it was featured in The Washington Post. MSNBC anchors are tweeting it out as we speak:

Graham is capitalizing (and fundraising) on the media coverage:

It’s about like striking gold, isn’t it?

2019 Post on Cross Creek Divide

Now that you’ve had a chance to see the ad, click on the underlined text below:

This is a post I wrote two years ago where I discussed the 9th District, white nationalist politics in the age of Trump, and most notably, the Battle of Hayes Pond.

Hell, they even used the same pictures I did.

You reckon someone out there read Cross Creek Divide, or was it just a coincidence?

I need to start charging for this stuff.

Musings on Autumn

There’s a quote I remember but can’t for the life of me find. Google’s been no help. I think it’s from a Hemingway book. I remember it like this:

“He remembered feeling that way in every autumn of his life…”

Reading the words brought memories of forgotten feelings of my youth. Autumn was melancholy and exciting at the same time. Summer was ending. You were losing the slow and easy freedom you’d come to enjoy. It was time to go back to work. But it cools down a bit and the southern air loses some of its weight. Nature gives you a new shot of adrenaline to do the job. The doves fill up the sunflower fields and the footballs fly end over end at Terry Sanford and Kenan Stadium. Friends and companions come back into your life and new crushes stir you inside. In the end, I think God knew what he was doing when he knocked the Earth into a tilt. He gave us an opportunity to grow.

My two boys and the vast majority of American kids lost that feeling and that opportunity in 2020. We took it from them. In a few short weeks, we have the opportunity to give it back.

To the Cumberland County School Board, The North Carolina General Assembly, and Governor Roy Cooper: You’ve been living your life this summer, as you please. Our kids don’t get that choice. As they can’t vote and they can’t get vaccinated, they’re easy targets for your control. But it’s time you take a calculated risk.

Open the school doors on the 23rd of August and keep them open.

They’re only young once.

An Early Bright Spot in 2021

Something rare for North Carolina politics happened today. Governor Cooper and the Republicans controlling the North Carolina Legislature actually agreed on something:

The plan calls for all elementary schools to open under “Plan A,” a category that means full in-person classes without the distancing requirements of “Plan B,” which has typically been implemented as a mix of in-person and online instruction to cut class sizes and spread students out.

Middle schools and high schools around the state would pick from Plan A, Plan B or a blend of both under the deal. The difference is based on ages: Older students are thought to transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 more easily than younger children.

All grades still have to provide parents with an online-only option.

Our school board members in Cumberland County should proceed with this plan immediately. They won’t, but they should. Other large counties, like Wake, sent their kids back in February. Instead, the Cumberland School Board will wait until the last possible moment under the law to get our kids in school full-time. It’s looking like April for us, and it’s a lesson that power and control, once acquired, are difficult to give up.

Regardless, this is good stuff.

Hug your children today.