Deciding to Run

      In the Spring of 2017, Regina and I decided to leave Florida and retire to the mountain she grew up on in the Caney Fork community outside Cullowhee in Jackson County. We spent our first couple years hiking and picking up roadside litter, and as she reacquainted herself with old friends, I found new ones in the Calliope Stage company. But even as I enjoyed this new relaxing life, I could not help but pay attention to developments in the Florida and North Carolina legislatures.

     I had interned as a speechwriter for former Florida Governor Bob Graham in 1981. Under the leadership of Reuben Askew, Graham and Lawton Chiles, Florida had strengthened public education, made growth management and environmental protection priorities, and reformed the judiciary. Florida fell under Republican rule in 2000 and soon dismantled the progress of the past century. The Florida Supreme Court, a place I had been awed to work in, was packed with partisans who ignored precedent and the constitution. The work I did to reform the criminal justice system, end homelessness and protect maternal health felt like too little.

    Then, in 2023, I watched Senator Kevin Corbin lead a veto proof Republican majority in targeting women’s health care. SB 20 is a monstrosity of discriminatory practices that was unveiled in the middle of the night and hustled into law over the strenuous objections of medical professionals. Corbin has also used his platform to bully kids, suppress voting and starve public education by giving away public tax dollars to campaign contributors. So I was already pretty upset with him when I found out that he was going to apparently run unopposed for another term in the North Carolina Senate.

    At first I was reluctant to run but also felt like it was my best chance to meaningfully contribute this year.. I know a thing or two about campaigning and have stood for election before. I was a trial lawyer so I know how to talk to people and even more important, how to listen. The North Carolina State Democratic Party encouraged me to run, as did Senator Julie Mayfield and Representatives Eric Agar and Caleb Rudow. And when I looked at the District, I started to see real opportunities for this campaign to succeed.

      Senate District 50 is a potentially powerful unit of the eight western most counties in the state. We have considerable natural resources, some of the finest in the country, and the rest of the world has noticed. If we want to preserve our resources, protect our people and prosper, we need representative leadership that will give our citizens the tools to succeed. I am running for the Senate to give the people that voice. I am going to spend the next six months traveling the district, registering voters and raising money (your generous contributions will be greatly appreciated!) I have been fortunate to assemble a strong team led by my finance director Morgan Mayo and we are ready to go.

     Please consider helping me out. Yes I want your donations and yes I want to be invited to your neighborhood association or church picnic and yes I want to know your contacts in Andrews or Robbinsville or Murphy or Bryson City. For Democrats to win, we must compete, and with your support I am ready to compete for this District. My website will be up soon and meanwhile you can follow the campaign on Twitter or contact me directly at . Thank you for all of your encouragement and support.   


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