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Voters need to look at the big picture when they go to vote on Tuesday. The two candidates running for the District 24 House seat could be no more different. We have Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, a seasoned, experienced legislator who knows how the legislature works and how to get things done. Because of her years of service in the legislature, she has seniority status, which gives her influence and control over committee assignments and appointments. She will have more choice in committees that are important to her constituents and the chance of more relevant appointments. As a lifelong resident of Wilson County, she already knows our needs.
If elected, Farmer-Butterfield’s opponent will be an inexperienced legislator with no influence or standing. He will be learning more than governing. Seniority, longevity and experience play a major role in getting things done, especially in government. Because her opponent declared himself an independent, he will have an even lower status in the General Assembly. Since he was supported by the majority party and their big money, he will be expected to dance to their tune. His inexperience will be a handicap for our county.
Voters need to be politically savvy in this election. If we want to break that supermajority and get out from under the control of big money, then vote for Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield and the other Democratic candidates. Let’s not let petty politics, issues or personal vendettas get in the way of doing what is best for Wilson County and our state.
For those who so strongly support Rep. Farmer-Butterfield’s opponent for whatever the reasons, keep this in mind. If he does not win but is a sincere candidate, and if he is as upstanding and of as good character as he tells us, then his time will come. He will stay here in Wilson, the place he says he loves, and get to know all of our people.
For the next few years he will support the efforts of Rep. Farmer-Butterfield and help her get the work she has started in Raleigh completed. Then, when the time is right, he can take all he has learned from a seasoned legislator, and if he really loves Wilson County as much as he says he does, he will run again.
Nancy Nichols Hawley