News-Record & Sentinel, September 2020

Ray Rapp was almost nonpartisan in the way he represented us in Raleigh.  He served.  Then in 2012, he was ambushed with slick, misleading mailbox flyers just before the election, and we got ideological Michelle Presnell for eight years.

Now her time’s up.  She’s stepping down, and Madison County has a chance to reset.

Alan Jones is the name to remember – now as we talk to friends and when we vote.  His working life has been spent supporting working people and their families.  While Presnell operated without regard for boards of county commissioners, school boards and chambers of commerce, Alan Jones will pitch in locally on everything to do with employment and education.  While Presnell spoke and wrote how she’s “packin’” a sidearm, Alan Jones quietly supports Second Amendment rights.  It’s doubtful Presnell ever held a town hall in Madison County; Alan Jones will be fully accessible. 

Presnell joined a really bad crowd in Raleigh, and yes, she really joined.  She’s been a cog in the grimy wheel of the Republican General Assembly that made N.C. “ground zero for voter suppression.”  And favoring the rich over schools.  And much more.

The GOP took power in 2011, and their first act was to make sure they would stay in power for a decade.  They drew political district boundaries such that election outcomes are foregone conclusions.  One court that slapped them down wrote: “The effect of these carefully crafted partisan maps is that…the Republican Party will control a majority of both chambers of the General Assembly.” 

This is a census year, so next year the General Assembly redraws district boundaries.  Republicans must not be in power to rig elections for another decade.

The Democratic Party is committed to redistricting by a nonpartisan commission.  If N.C. is to have fair elections, Democrats must control at least one chamber of the General Assembly.

For that to happen, we must unseat six Republicans in the state House, an uphill climb.  If we can beat the Republican’s weak candidate in our District 118, that will be huge, huge, huge.   

Alan Jones will be spectacular in Raleigh, beginning with redistricting.

“We should be drawing our political district lines in a fair, impartial, and nonpartisan manner,” he wrote.  “That is how our democracy is supposed to work. Gerrymandering districts keeps voters from holding their representatives accountable….That’s why I support a nonpartisan redistricting committee.”

Amen, Alan Jones.