Tuesday, September 18, 2012 11:33 PM
Sen. Jones makes Wilson stop
By Janet Conner-Knox | Times Staff Writer
About 20 residents ignored the rain to come and hear from Democratic Sen. Ed Jones.
The event took place at Darden Alumni Center and was hosted by The African-American Caucus - Wilson County Chapter and voting precincts N, C, Q and R.
Jones has served three terms in the N.C. Senate and one in the N.C. House.
His challenger is Republican candidate Warren Scott Nail.
Portions of Wilson County are now included in District 4 following redistricting.
Jones told the group it is important for residents to go out and vote for people who think like they think.
"Don’t rely on what others tell you about a candidate – go and talk with them for yourself,” Jones said. "G.K. Butterfield knows me, but it is more important that you get to know me for yourself.”
Jones told the group that while some of his answers may not be what they want to hear, he will always tell them what he knows is the truth.
When asked about ElectriCities, Jones was frank.
"If anyone tells you that a vote for them will lower your electric bill, they aren’t being honest,” Jones said. "I’d love to meet the person who can do that.”
Jones said the debt is there and it won’t just go away.
Jones said residents will have to be conservative with how high they put the heat or how low they adjust their air conditioning.
He said there is no quick fix to the issue of high electric bills.
Jones made it a point to let the group know he wants more money spent on education.
"The budget is the same no matter who you vote for, so it is important to vote for someone who has the same priorities as you have,” Jones said. "I am for putting more money in our schools for our children in the classrooms. Children don’t vote, so many times they don’t get what they should from those who are in office. It should not be that way.”
Jones, who is battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, said he’s not in the race for the money, but to help people who don’t have a voice.
"You know there are some people who are connected - they have a voice,” Jones said. "But I’m interested in those little people who need my voice to be heard to help them.”
Jones told the group what they see about him is who he is without any pretentiousness. He told them his job as state senator pays about $13,000 a year. He said he isn’t interested in money from people. He is interested in their vote.
"I want to earn you vote. I’m not interested in your money,” Jones said. "If you give me something then I feel like I owe you something. I want everybody on the same playing field.”
He said the reason he gets votes from people is he comes to where the voters are, and talks to them face to face and is as down to earth as he can be.
"There is nothing that upsets me more than to go to a church and let somebody go on vacation and go through New York and come back with a different accent,” Jones said. "Wanting to be somebody. You just don’t do that.”
Jones promised the group to fight as long as he can fight for their issues.
Jones said there are some issues he supports that many may not understand.
"You know people don’t forgive,” Jones said. "I say that because when a prisoner has completed their sentence, society won’t forgive them. So, they can’t get jobs. But they need jobs.”
Jones told the group that inmates do more than make license plates. He said they also sew and make the glasses in North Carolina for those who are on Medicare.
"We have to find a way to help them back into society so they can be productive,” Jones said.
Jones told the group to get involved in the political process.
"Right now when there is a vote it goes right down party lines,” Jones said. "It’s 19 to 31. Democrats have 19 and Republicans have 31 votes.”
Ray Chambers said that number was a surprise to him.
"I was very surprised there are only 19 Democrats and 31 Republicans,” Chambers said. "Needless to say, I should have known that as interested in what the state legislature does as I am.”
Chambers said with odds like that in the Senate and the House, he will be going out to register more people to vote and helping them get to the poles.
Patricia Williams said she is happy she came out to hear Jones for herself.
"Senator Jones and Congressman Butterfield are the only two that have spoken from their hearts,” Williams said. "I feel like I really got to know Jones. I like what I heard. It’s amazing. I trust him.”
Williams said she has been out to hear as many candidates as possible, but she said she doesn’t always feel as if she can trust them after she listens to them.
Jones told the group after they elect him into office, they should contact him.
"Pick up the phone and give me a call,” Jones said. "I am here to listen to what is happening to you and see what can be done. You can say I’m calling Jones. I know him.”
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