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As a former teacher, assistant principal and principal in Wilson County for nearly 30 years, I was extremely disappointed to see the negativity associated with the election campaign of current teacher and pastor Ken Fontenot. It’s unfortunate that a public-school teacher whose goal should always be to stand as a role model would resort to fictitious tactics to undermine the reputation and credibility of a longtime community leader.
Pastors, teachers and community leaders are held to a higher standard and are always expected to maintain integrity in their actions. In my professional opinion, Ken Fontenot has not met this standard. He and his supporters have spent their time criticizing Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield rather than standing on his own vision and his plan for the future of Wilson County.
If indeed his background, experience and accomplishments provide solid proof of his preparedness for this office, then these should also be strong enough for him to stand upon in his campaign without attempting to discredit someone who has a proven track record for success in our community.
How are we expected to follow the leadership of a pastor or teacher who would jeopardize his own morals and reputation by spreading negative and inaccurate comments about someone else in the community? If he can’t be truthful in his campaigning, how can we trust him as a pastor, a teacher or a leader?
Farmer-Butterfield has represented this community with integrity and has made a significant difference in the lives of the citizens of Wilson and throughout the state of North Carolina. She has fought and successfully secured funding for the heart, stroke and dental centers in Greenville. She has helped to keep the Walter B. Jones Alcohol Rehabilitation Center from closing and has been instrumental in keeping Bridgestone/Firestone from leaving Wilson.
It was Farmer-Butterfield who helped to get the inpatient unit at our local hospital and who worked hard to keep the School for the Deaf from closing, not once but three times! Moreover, she successfully advocated for early college programs not only in the counties she represents but throughout the state. She has always fought for improvements in our public schools, including better salaries for teachers and other personnel.
I am also aware that Farmer-Butterfield commuted back and forth to Raleigh to represent us from 2003 until 2015 and we thank her for her sacrifice and dedication in representing us and in accomplishing positive change for our community.
Thank you, Representative Farmer-Butterfield.
Shame, shame on you, Mr. Ken Fontenot.
Condemning and tearing down the reputation of others is not the method that we teach our students as the honest way to win, is it? Why would we behave in a manner that is contrary to what we expect from our students?
Farmer-Butterfield’s reputation is not what we should be questioning. Perhaps it is why Mr. Fontenot would stoop to this level to attempt to discredit the work she has done on behalf of the citizens of Wilson, Edgecombe, Nash and Pitt counties.
I am writing as a lifelong educator and a concerned citizen of this community.
Integrity matters, Mr. Fontenot.