Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

PA PAC 2014 Endorsements


Published on

Durham People's Alliance is proud to announce its 2014 endorsements for North Carolina legislative and judicial races, Durham School Board, Durham District Attorney, and Durham Sheriff.

Published in: News & Politics, Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

PA PAC 2014 Endorsements

  1. 1. DURHAM  PEOPLE’S  ALLIANCE  PAC  ENDORSES  CANDIDATES  FOR  2014  RACES       Members  of  the  Durham  People’s  Alliance  Political  Action  Committee  met  Thursday  evening  to   endorse  candidates  for  the  2014  elections.    Well  over  100  members  of  the  organization  gathered  at  St.   Luke’s  Church  to  debate  their  favorites  for  Durham  sheriff,  district  attorney,  school  board,  legislative,   and  court  seats  at  all  levels.     SCHOOL  BOARD       For  the  district  one  seat  on  the  school  board,  the  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  Mike  Lee.    Mike’s   questionnaire  showed  that  he  stands  with  the  PA  on  the  major  education  issues,  including  his  desire  for   an  open  superintendent  search,  concerns  about  high  stakes  testing,  and  a  desire  to  fight  the  General   Assembly’s  attacks  on  public  education.    Mike  brings  a  unique  background  in  computer  technology  and   business  to  the  Board.    He  has  an  advanced  degree  in  business  with  a  focus  in  information  technology   and  he  is  a  manager  at  Credit  Suisse  in  global  data  services.    Mike  can  help  the  Board  identify  places  for   efficiency  and  develop  sound  budgets.    We  like  the  fact  that  Mike  has  a  child  attending  elementary   school  in  the  Durham  public  school  system.    The  People’s  Alliance  feels  that  he  is  smart,  capable,  and   can  bring  different  people  together  on  important  issues.       For  the  district  two  school  board  seat,  the  PAC  endorses  Sendolo  Diaminah.    Sendolo  is  a   community  organizer  who  has  been  especially  active  in  housing,  poverty,  and  teacher  rights.    He  is   thoughtful  and  persuasive.    His  passion  for  service  is  infectious.    Sendolo  is  in  tune  with  a  population  in   Durham  that  is  not  always  represented  on  the  Board  or  served  properly  in  our  schools.    He  has  a  fresh   point  of  view  on  ways  to  help  close  the  achievement  gap  for  children  of  color  and  children  struggling   with  poverty.    In  2012  he  won  an  Indy  Award  and  the  Louis  Burnham  Award  for  his  advocacy  and  service   for  Durham’s  citizens  with  desperate  housing  needs.    Sendolo  is  widely  known  for  his  even   temperament  and  his  ability  to  promote  an  atmosphere  of  listening  and  collaboration.  Sendolo  can  build   bridges  between  the  parents,  teachers,  and  administration  at  DPS.    We  look  to  him  to  help  the  school   board  move  past  the  divisions  that  have  sometimes  plagued  it  in  the  past.       PA  PAC  endorses  Matt  Sears  for  the  district  three  seat  on  the  school  board.    Matt  is  a  former  math   teacher  and  was  named  Teacher  of  the  Year  when  he  taught  at  Hillside  High  School.    Matt  now  works   with  a  non-­‐profit  that  provides  coaching  and  support  for  science,  technology,  and  mathematics   instruction  in  public  schools  across  the  state.    His  broad  base  of  knowledge  about  all  aspects  of  public   schools  and  his  concern  for  the  future  of  public  education  convinces  us  that  he  is  the  best  candidate  in   this  race.    No  candidate  is  better  positioned  to  help  the  school  board  understand  the  instructional  needs   of  students  and  teachers,  what  works  and  what  does  not.  His  own  young  children  will  attend  Durham   public  schools  in  the  coming  years.    This  is  significant  to  People’s  Alliance  members.    Matt  is  patient  and   respectful  when  listening  to  others.    His  positions  on  the  issues  are  well  reasoned  and  presented   professionally.       In  district  four,  PA  PAC  endorses  Natalie  Beyer.    She  is  running  unopposed  for  her  second  term  on   the  Board.    Her  first  term  has  been  marked  by  thoughtful  consideration  of  many  contentious  topics.   Natalie  has  proven  herself  to  be  a  tireless  worker  who  carefully  informs  herself  on  all  of  the  issues.  She   has  moved  the  Board  into  an  era  of  activism  at  the  state  level  and  been  an  important  force  for  
  2. 2. progressive  push  back  at  the  General  Assembly  from  other  Boards  across  the  state.  We  think  she  has   earned  a  second  term  on  the  board  and  we  are  grateful  for  her  service  so  far.     SHERIFF       The  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  Mike  Andrews  for  a  full  term  as  Durham  County  Sheriff.     Andrews  is  from  Durham  and  has  risen  through  the  ranks  at  the  sheriff’s  office.    He  was  picked  by  Sheriff   Hill  as  his  successor  and  was  appointed  by  the  BOCC  to  fill  Sheriff  Hill’s  unexpired  term  beginning  in   2012.    Mike  is  a  fine  law  enforcement  official  with  a  solid  record  of  law  enforcement  management.      We   like  that  he  is  part  of,  and  has  continued,  a  culture  of  policing  that  is  personal,  personable,  and   moderate.    Andrews  is  always  accessible  and  always  responsive.    In  his  tenure  he  has  addressed  long   festering  complaints  about  the  unsanitary  conditions  at  the  jail.    We  like  that  he  places  emphasis  in   updating  communications  and  technology  systems  at  the  sheriff’s  office.    We  look  to  Andrews  to   encourage  advancement  within  the  ranks  of  the  department  for  deputies  and  employees  from  every   background.     DISTRICT  COURT       For  the  Evans  Seat  on  the  Durham  District  Court,  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  Judge  Pat  Evans.   Evans  has  been  on  the  bench  for  a  little  over  three  years.    She  is  intelligent,  hardworking  and  has   experience  working  in  the  all  the  District  Courts.    The  compassion  Judge  Evans  displays  from  the  bench   for  young  people  in  trouble  with  the  law  is  compelling  to  our  members.    We  believe  that  during  her  first   term  she  has  grown  from  practicing  lawyer  into  a  promising  jurist  and  that  her  growth  will  continue  in  a   second  term.       For  the  Walker  Seat  on  the  District  Court,  we  endorse  Judge  Doretta  Walker.    Prior  to  being   elected  to  her  first  term  in  2011,  Judge  Walker  served  as  an  Assistant  District  Attorney  in  Durham  where   she  was  assigned  the  most  complex  white-­‐collar  crime  cases.    We  are  impressed  with  Judge  Walker’s   work  outside  the  courtroom.    She  teaches  criminal  justice,  works  with  Senior  Citizens  and  Law   Enforcement  Together  (SALT),  and  volunteers  for  Partners  for  Youth.    In  the  courtroom,  she  is  patient   and  thoughtful.    As  with  Judge  Evans  we  are  confident  that  Judge  Walker  will  continue  to  grow  in  a   second  term  on  the  District  Court  bench.       PA  PAC  endorses  Judge  Nancy  Gordon  for  the  Gordon  Seat  on  the  District  Court.    Gordon  has   served  as  a  district  court  judge  for  more  than  seven  years.    During  that  time  she  has  earned  praise  from   attorneys  and  fellow  judges  for  her  superior  knowledge  of  the  law,  her  hard  work  and  dedication,  and   her  unswerving  insistence  upon  excellence.    She  was  the  first  certified  family  law  attorney  in  Durham   County  and  family  law  makes  up  a  significant  portion  of  the  business  of  the  district  court.    None  of  Judge   Gordon’s  decisions  has  ever  been  overturned  by  the  Court  of  Appeals.    She  is  known  for  being  in  court   early,  prepared,  and  ready  to  handle  her  case  load.  She  is  praised  for  her  interest  in  the  welfare  of  the   families  and  children  who  appear  before  her  and  for  the  special  needs  of  veterans.    Recently,  she   successfully  advocated  for  funding  for  a  new  veteran’s  court  to  provide  intensified  supervision  for   veterans  whose  legal  troubles  are  attributable  to  the  stresses  of  their  service.    Judge  Gordon’s  capacity   for  work  and  her  commitment  to  service  convince  us  that  she  deserves  another  term  on  the  Durham   District  Court  bench.      
  3. 3.   PA  PAC  also  endorses  Judges,  Morey,  Hill,  and  Wilks  for  re-­‐election  to  their  respective  seats  on  the   district  court  bench.    All  three  are  running  unopposed.    Each  of  these  seasoned  judges  has  earned  high   praise  from  litigants  and  the  lawyers  who  regularly  appear  before  them.    Judge  Morey  proposed  a  new   program  in  Durham,  where  16-­‐  and  17-­‐year-­‐olds  who  have  committed  non-­‐violent  misdemeanors  can   avoid  arrest  and  instead  be  diverted  to  community-­‐based  programs.    This  initiative  is  the  first  of  its  kind   in  North  Carolina.  She  contributes  to  the  Durham  community  by  teaching  about  the  judicial  system  and   serving  with  various  charitable  and  non-­‐profit  organizations.    Judge  Hill  is  praised  for  his  work  in   arbitrations,  his  keen  interest  in  juveniles,  and  the  Youth  Treatment  Drug  Court.    He  is  known  for  his   scrupulous  application  of  the  law  to  the  facts  and  his  respectful  treatment  of  everyone  in  the   courthouse.    Judge  Wilks  is  hard-­‐working,  accessible,  patient,  and  knowledgeable.    He  has  been  an   adjunct  professor  of  law  at  NCCU  and  contributes  to  the  Durham  community  by  volunteering  at  Rogers   Herr  Middle  School,  the  George  White  Bar,  and  other  organizations.    We  have  supported  all  three   candidates  in  the  past  and  are  happy  to  do  so  again.     DISTRICT  ATTORNEY       PA  PAC  endorses  Roger  Echols  in  the  race  for  Durham  District  Attorney.    Roger  Echols  is  an   experienced  prosecutor  who  currently  runs  the  day  to  day  operations  of  the  DA’s  office.    Echols  displays   the  temperament  necessary  to  keep  the  office  on  an  even  keel  during  the  next  four  years  and  to   maintain  positive  working  relationships  with  the  judges  and  the  defense  bar.    Echols  has  also  proposed  a   number  of  concrete  steps  to  streamline  the  operations  of  the  court  system  and  to  improve  the  training   of  prosecutors  in  the  office.    He  is  thoughtful  and  precise  in  his  communication  about  the  business  of   the  District  Attorney’s  Office.    His  understanding  of  the  issues  confronting  the  DA’s  office  and  the  day-­‐ to-­‐day  concerns  of  prosecutors  is  comprehensive.    He  knows  that  the  decisions  made  by  the  district   attorney  and  all  of  his  subordinates  impact  upon  the  life  and  liberty  of  those  accused  of  committing   crimes  and  the  welfare  and  peace  of  mind  of  the  victims  of  crime.    He  is  praised  by  defense  attorneys  for   his  courtesy  and  his  honesty.    He  takes  great  pains  to  communicate  with  precision.    He  supports  raising   the  age  limit  for  juvenile  defendants  and  he  supports  programs  alternative  to  incarceration.    Echols   opposes  the  death  penalty  and  will  advocate  against  it.  Echols  grew  up  in  Hillsborough  and  lived  and   worked  as  a  prosecutor  in  Person  County  before  joining  the  Durham  DA’s  staff.         NORTH  CAROLINA  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY       NC  SENATE       The  People’s  Alliance  PAC  is  happy  to  again  endorse  Durham’s  incumbent  state  senators,  Democrats   Floyd  McKissick  and  Mike  Woodard.  They  are  both  veterans  of  the  Durham  City  Council  and  work  to   convey  Durham’s  concerns  to  Raleigh,  even  as  they  struggle  as  leaders  of  the  Democratic  Party  in  a   Republican-­‐controlled  legislature.  They  are  both  unopposed  in  the  May  primary,  but  Woodard  faces   Republican  opposition  in  November.  They  are  fighting  the  good  fight  for  progressive  values  in  the  North   Carolina  Senate,  and  will  work  for  education,  health  care,  and  full  access  to  a  fair  ballot.  Senator   McKissick  is  Deputy  Democratic  Leader  in  the  Senate,  and  chairman  of  the  North  Carolina  Legislative   Black  Caucus.           NC  HOUSE    
  4. 4.   Four  Democratic  members  of  the  North  Carolina  House  of  Representatives  currently  represent  parts   of  Durham  County.    We  are  proud  to  endorse  them  all.    Representatives  Larry  Hall,  Paul  Luebke,  and  H.   M.  (Mickey)  Michaux  are  running  for  re-­‐election  and  newcomer  Graig  Meyer,  appointed  to  fill  the  seat   vacated  by  Valerie  Foushee,  is  running  for  the  first  time.    As  in  the  state  senate,  these  progressive   Democrats  fight  an  uphill  battle  to  enact  progressive  legislation  for  the  people  of  North  Carolina.   Representatives  Meyer  and  Michaux  face  Republican  opposition  in  November.  Hall  is  the  Democratic   Leader  of  the  North  Carolina  House,  and  previously  served  as  a  Democratic  Caucus  Whip.       NC  SUPREME  COURT       Only  one  state  wide  judicial  seat  will  be  on  the  May  ballot.  In  this  contest,  PA  PAC  endorses   incumbent  Justice  Robin  Hudson  for  re-­‐election  over  her  two  conservative  challengers.  Justice  Hudson   is  an  experienced  and  thoughtful  jurist  who  carefully  weighs  the  merits  of  every  case  before  her.  Her   background  prior  to  taking  the  bench  in  2000  as  an  appellate  defender  and  in  private  practice  has  served   her  well  on  the  bench.  We  are  concerned  that  the  two  conservatives  who  have  filed  against  her  are   hoping  that  the  larger  Republican  primary  turnout  will  result  in  them  finishing  first  and  second,  thereby   knocking  Justice  Hudson  off  of  the  November  ballot.    Such  a  result  would  deprive  voters  of  any   meaningful  choice  in  the  general  election.  We  urge  all  progressive  voters  to  pay  close  attention  to  this   critical  contest.  An  additional  factor  is  the  ending  of  public  financing  for  judicial  elections,  forcing  the   candidates  to  spend  more  of  their  time  on  fundraising.         In  addition  to  losing  Chief  Justice  Sarah  Parker,  many  of  the  statewide  judicial  contests  feature   progressive  women  being  opposed  by  conservative  men.  The  People’s  Alliance  will  work  for  the   continuation  of  the  hard-­‐won  diversity  in  the  membership  of  our  state  courts,  the  critical  third  branch  of   our  constitutional  government.     THE  OTHER  STATEWIDE  JUDICIAL  CONTESTS  WILL  APPEAR  ON  THE  NOVEMBER  BALLOT       For  the  seat  of  retiring  Supreme  Court  Justice  Sarah  Parker,  the  People’s  Alliance  PAC  declines  to   endorse  either  of  the  conservative  candidates.  Neither  of  them  is  at  all  aligned  with  PA’s  progressive   values.  Justice  Martin  has  been  a  stalwart  conservative  on  the  NC  Supreme  Court  for  15  years,  and  Judge   Lewis  is  a  controversial  figure  as  the  conservative  chief  resident  superior  court  judge  of  Brunswick   County.  Judge  Lewis  announced  in  2013  that  she  would  challenge  Justice  Cheri  Beasley  (an  appointee  of   Governor  Perdue),  and  raised  money  from  Republicans  across  the  state  for  that  purpose  before   switching  races  to  run  against  Martin  for  Chief  Justice  just  before  the  close  of  the  filing  period.       PA  PAC  endorses  Judge  Sam  Ervin  for  election  to  the  open  seat  on  the  NC  Supreme  Court  former   held  by  Justice  Martin.  On  the  NC  Court  of  Appeals,  Judge  Ervin’s  opinions  are  always  well-­‐researched,   well-­‐written,  and  well-­‐received.  We  are  impressed  by  his  education,  erudition,  and  exemplary  record  of   public  service  on  the  bench  and  as  a  member  of  the  Utilities  Commission.  Judge  Ervin  lost  his  previous   race  for  the  NC  Supreme  Court  in  2012  after  a  tidal  wave  of  money  from  anonymous  individuals  and   groups  from  outside  of  North  Carolina  was  spent  on  behalf  of  his  conservative  opponent.  He  is  running   again  because  he  believes  that  the  courts  should  not  continue  to  be  politicized  by  this  outside  money.       The  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  incumbent  Justice  Cheri  Beasley  for  re-­‐election  to  her  current   seat  on  the  NC  Supreme  Court.  Prior  to  her  appointment  in  2012  by  Governor  Perdue  ,  Justice  Beasley   was  a  distinguished  member  of  the  NC  Court  of  Appeals,  having  been  elected  in  2008  by  defeating   incumbent  arch-­‐conservative  Judge  Doug  McCullough.  In  that  race,  Justice  Beasley  became  the  first  
  5. 5. woman  of  color  in  the  history  of  NC  to  win  election  to  statewide  office  without  having  first  been   appointed  to  the  office  by  the  governor.  She  is  familiar  with  the  Triangle  region,  having  worked  in   Research  Triangle  Park,  and  for  the  Wake  County  District  Attorney.  She  serves  as  a  fair  and  impartial   member  of  the  North  Carolina  Supreme  Court,  and  deserves  re-­‐election.       The  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  Lucy  Inman  for  the  open  seat  on  the  NC  Court  of  Appeals   formerly  held  by  Judge  Hunter.  Judge  Inman  currently  serves  as  a  Special  Superior  Court  Judge  handling   cases  all  across  the  state,  while  her  opponent  is  a  district  court  judge  in  Johnson  County.  Prior  to  taking   the  bench  in  2010,  Judge  Inman  was  in  private  practice  representing  business  clients  and  individuals  in   complex  cases  and  she  also  represented  death  row  inmates  in  North  Carolina  in  challenges  to  the  lethal   injection  protocol  which  was  in  effect  at  that  time.  Her  opponent  touts  his  affiliation  with  “Tea  Party”-­‐ related  organizations  on  his  website.       PA  PAC  endorses  incumbent  Judge  Donna  Stroud,  who  is  running  opposed  for  re-­‐election  to  the   Court  of  Appeals.  Judge  Stroud  has  served  with  distinction  since  her  election  to  the  Court  of  Appeals  in   2006;  prior  to  her  election,  Judge  Stroud  was  a  district  court  judge  in  Wake  County.  Judge  Stroud  is  well-­‐ known  as  for  her  expertise  in  family  law.       PA  PAC  endorses  incumbent  Judge  Mark  Davis,  who  is  running  for  election  to  his  current  seat  on   the  NC  Court  of  Appeals.  Prior  to  his  appointment  to  the  Court,  Judge  Davis  served  as  General  Counsel   for  Governor  Perdue,  and  before  that  he  served  under  Roy  Cooper  as  Special  Deputy  Attorney  General   in  the  NC  Department  of  Justice.  Judge  Davis’s  opponent  has  been  endorsed  by  county  Republican   parties  across  North  Carolina.     US  HOUSE  OF  REPRESENTATIVES       Durham  County  was  formerly  entirely  in  the  District  of  David  Price,  and  now  is  gerrymandered  into   four  congressional  districts,  two  heavily  Democratic,  and  two  primarily  Republican.  The  People’s   Alliance  PAC  endorses  incumbent  Representatives  G.  K.  Butterfield  and  David  Price.  Rep.  Butterfield   has  served  the  First  District  and  Durham  County  since  2013,  and  has  deep  roots  in  our  county,  having   attended  N.  C.  Central  University.  He  will  appear  on  the  May  ballot  in  the  Democratic  primary.   Representative  David  Price,  of  the  Fourth  District,  has  only  Republican  opposition  in  November,  and  is  a   leader  among  House  Democrats,  serving  in  the  House  since  1986.         In  the  Sixth  District,  the  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  Laura  Fjeld,  who  has  over  thirty  years   of  experience  working  in  business  and  education.  Her  public  service  includes  her  work  as  Vice  President   and  General  Counsel  for  the  seventeen-­‐campus  University  of  North  Carolina  system,  where  she  worked   well  with  Democrats  and  Republicans  to  protect  the  quality  of  our  state’s  public  colleges  for  all  North   Carolina  citizens.  In  addition,  she  has  been  a  consistent  advocate  for  children  and  education.  We  are   impressed  with  her  determination  to  run  a  progressive  campaign  in  this  difficult  district.         In  the  Thirteenth  District,  PA  PAC  endorses  Virginia  Conlon,  a  small  business  owner  whose  life  has   been  hallmarked  by  public  service.  Conlon  lives  in  the  Raleigh  area  and  has  supported  Meals-­‐on-­‐Wheels,   the  Triangle  Red  Cross,  and  the  North  Carolina  Museum  of  Art,  worked  at  the  Food  Bank  for  Central  and   Eastern  North  Carolina,  while  raising  a  family  that  has  proudly  supported  her  public  service.  We  admire   Conlon  for  standing  up  to  represent  progressive  values  in  this  district.   We  urge  Durham  voters  to  support  Fjeld  and  Conlon  in  their  Democratic  primaries  and  in  November.    
  6. 6. US  SENATE         The  People’s  Alliance  PAC  endorses  incumbent  Kay  Hagan  for  re-­‐election  to  the  US  Senate.   Conservative  groups  like  Americans  For  Prosperity  have  targeted  North  Carolina  and  Kay  Hagan  in  2014.   They  are  poised  to  spend  more  than  $27  million  here  by  Election  Day;  that’s  more  than  twice  what  any   outside  group  has  spent  in  the  past  dozen  years  in  our  congressional  races.  These  staggering  figures   make  North  Carolina  ground  zero  in  the  battle  to  retain  Democratic  control  of  the  Senate.  This  alone   would  make  us  rally  to  Hagan’s  defense,  but  in  addition  she  understands  the  needs  of  North  Carolinians,   and  fights  for  health  care,  education,  women’s  reproductive  rights,  and  increasing  the  minimum  wage.   She  will  combat  the  special  interests  and  backward  ideologies  embodied  by  her  various  Republican   opponents.  She  has  nominal  opposition  in  the  Democratic  primary,  and  deserves  a  strong  vote  in  May  to   show  her  strength  for  November.       ___________________________       Turnout  for  the  meeting  was  high  and  debate  about  the  races  ran  from  7:00  p.m.  until  very  nearly   midnight.    It  is  a  PA  PAC  tradition  that  everyone  who  wishes  to  speak  at  an  endorsement  meeting  be   given  an  opportunity  to  speak.    On  Thursday  night,  the  organization  welcomed  many  new  members.     The  People’s  Alliance’s  membership  has  been  on  an  upswing  over  the  last  few  years.    The  organization’s   fight  against  Amendment  One  during  2012  caused  many  citizens  to  sign  on.       The  People’s  Alliance  and  its  PAC  have  been  active  in  Durham  political  life  for  nearly  40  years.     Candidate  endorsements  are  made  by  the  members  of  the  organization  in  a  democratic  process  in   which  decisions  are  made  by  a  vote  of  the  majority.    In  preparation  for  endorsement  debates,  the  PAC   researches  candidates’  backgrounds  and  challenges  them  on  the  issues  with  interviews  and   questionnaires.           To  learn  more  about  the  People’s  Alliance’s  endorsements,  see  the  candidates’  responses  to  the  PA   PAC  questionnaires  and  their  resumes  at  the  People’s  Alliance  website    -­‐       Contact:     Durham  People’s  Alliance  PAC  Coordinators     Milo  Pyne   (919)  943-­‐9327   Lorisa  Seibel   (919)  801-­‐6863   James  Hill   (919)  213-­‐0888   Tom  Miller   (919)  599-­‐7618   tom-­‐     Durham  People’s  Alliance  Staff:  (919)  682-­‐7777