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Voter Guide Cumberland County NC Election 2022

Table of Contents

VOTER GUIDE

U.S. House – District 7

Charles Graham

Charles Graham

Party: Democrat

Background: Member of the North Carolina State House (2011-Present); Educator for children with special needs; Small business owner of a home health company

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Expand Access to Healthcare, such as Medicaid expansion; Invest in our rural communities; Protect our drinking water from polluters

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 3 –  What specific steps would you take to address economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods: Our communities are working harder, but paychecks aren’t getting bigger. To help families address the pressures they’re facing, we need to make it easier for families to succeed at work and at home. That means raising the minimum wage, leveling the playing field, and fighting corporate greed.

Website: VoteCharlesGraham.com

David Rouzer

David Rouzer

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

U.S. House – District 9

Ben Clark

Ben Clark

Party: Democrat

Background: Son of Retired Army Pilot and Schoolteacher; Lt. Col., US Air Force (Ret); Worked past 20 years at Ft. Bragg, training soldiers; 5-term Senator (Hoke and Cumberland); Proud, Common Sense Democrat; Husband, Father, Leader, Servant, Christian.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Protecting American democracy. Protecting women’s rights. Reducing mass shootings and gun deaths. When guns have more rights than women and sitting Congressmen participate in insurrections without consequence, our entire way of life is in jeopardy. This has to change.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 1 – What specific steps would you take to address new restrictions on gun ownership: I’m a gun owner. Most everyone I know is. The idea that Democrats want to take guns from law-abiding citizens is fear mongering. I do believe we should take assault rifles out of teenagers’ hands. I’ll fight for that in Congress.

Website: BenClarkNC.com

Richard Hudson

Richard Hudson

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

NC STATE SENATE – DISTRICT 19

Wesley Meredith

Wesley Meredith

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

Val Applewhite

Val Applewhite

Party: Democrat

Background: I am a 20-year Air Force Veteran, 3-term Fayetteville City Council Member, Businesswoman and mother with an MS in Political Science and a BS in Business. The core values of Integrity and Service Before Self are the foundation of my public service.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Quality education, access to affordable healthcare and protecting a woman’s right to choose are three of my top priorities. These issues are on the hearts and minds of countless voters that I have spoken with. They are fundamental issues that every North Carolinian has the absolute right to.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 3 –  What specific steps would you take to address economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods: We must continue to assess and respond in earnest to the real economic and social impact of the pandemic on our families and small businesses. Most North Carolinians are employed by small businesses; I support tax breaks for them and opportunities to strengthen our workforce for jobs of the future.

Website: ValApplewhiteNCSenate.com

NC STATE SENATE – DISTRICT 21

Tom McInnis

Tom McInnis

Party: Republican
no response from candidate

Frank McNeill

Frank McNeill

Party: Democrat

Background: Democrat Frank McNeill is a life-long resident of Aberdeen and runs his family’s small business. He has served the Town of Aberdeen as Council Member and Mayor. He also was elected to the Moore County School Board.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

  1. Public Education is the great equalizer for children. Our schools have fallen behind. I will provide the resources they need to properly educate our children.
  2. Attract quality jobs that pay well and provide important family benefits. Taxpayers should not subsidize large corporations.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 2 – What specific steps would you take to address new restrictions on abortion access: I would vote against any bill passed by the NCGA that is more restrictive of women’s reproductive rights and would uphold the Governor’s veto should such a bill be passed. I support a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body and believe no one has the right to impose their beliefs on another person.

Website: McNeillForNC.com

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – DISTRICT 42

Gloria Carrasco

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

Marvin W. Lucas

Marvin W. Lucas

Party: Democrat

Background: Retired Principal; Retired Alderman and Mayor; Twenty-two years as a Legislator

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

  1. Better pay for teachers and state employees — Ranking near the bottom in national rankings does not bode well for our great state.
  2. Internet access for all areas of our state – This is an absolute necessity in a competitive society.
  3. Highly-skilled and well-trained job market workers

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 1 – What specific steps would you take to address new restrictions on gun ownership: Restrictions on gun ownership — Having been around guns most of my life, I know and greatly respect the value of gun safety! Simply insure that untrained minors never have un-supervised access; always maintain strict security measures! Target practice should only be done in safety approved areas.

Website: no response from candidate

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – DISTRICT 43

Elmer Floyd

Elmer Floyd

Party: Democrat

Background: United States Army Veteran; Fayetteville State University Graduate; City of Fayetteville – Human Relations Director (30 Years); Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. – Member; Served 6 (six) terms in the North Carolina General Assembly

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Inflation and Healthcare

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 2 – What specific steps would you take to address new restrictions on abortion access: I would take no steps to restrict a woman’s access to abortions. I believe that North Carolina government should not interfere with a woman’s right to choose.

Website: ElmerFloyd.com

Diane Wheatley

Diane Wheatley

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – DISTRICT 44

Charles Smith

Charles Smith

Party: Democrat

Background: Born and raised in Cumberland County; Undergrad: Emory and Henry College; Law School: UNC-Chapel Hill; Relevant legal experience interpreting statutes that our legislators enact and approve; Vice Chair of the Cumberland County Democratic Party

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
If elected, I will advocate for the expansion of Medicaid to ensure every North Carolinian has access to affordable and quality healthcare. Additionally, I will work to increase funding to traditional public schools. For future generations, we must prioritize recruiting and retaining educators.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 2 – What specific steps would you take to address new restrictions on abortion access: I will unequivocally protect reproductive freedoms in our state, and I will vote against any bill that seeks to increase restrictions on abortion access. Women should have the ability to make their own reproductive health care decisions, and these decisions should not be relegated to politicians.

Website: CharlesSmithForNC.com

NC HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – DISTRICT 45

Susan Chapman

Susan Chapman

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

Frances Jackson

Frances Jackson

Party: Democrat

Background: Twenty-seven years of experience in state and local government. B.S. Degree in Economics/Transportation from NC A&T. M.A., Fayetteville State. PhD, Walden University. As a planner and educator, I have worked with eight North Carolina agencies.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Education; Environment; Supporting First Responders; Creating Small businesses

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (new restrictions on gun ownership; OR new restrictions on abortion access; OR economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods):

Option 3 –  What specific steps would you take to address economic stress from higher prices for gas, groceries and other goods: I would eliminate state grocery and gas tax for all citizens starting with frontliners, educators, support staff, first responders, medical related personnel, active duty families and retirees. In the next budget, invest in these areas of our population. Finally, restore the NC tax-free weekend!

Website: ElectFrancesJackson.com

NC SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12C – SEAT 2

George R. (Robby) Hicks

George R. (Robby) Hicks

Party: Republican

Background: I am a conservative, Christian candidate with decades of service to our courts, community, State, and Country. I am happily married to a Cumberland County native, and we are very proud of our 2 sons who currently serve in the U.S. military.

Please share your personal statement about why you want to serve on this court:
In these uncertain times, we need a law and order Superior Court Judge. With over 28 years prosecuting crimes, I have the skills necessary to be a fair, impartial, and independent judge. I will protect our Constitutional rights and apply our laws as written fairly to everyone without exception.

What, if anything, should be added to the NC Code of Judicial Conduct regarding recusal and/or political activity of judges?
Nothing. I am aware of an issue surrounding Canon 7 of the N.C. Code of Judicial Conduct, but I am concerned that any attempt to amend the Code to address this issue may run afoul of the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions.

Website: VoteRobbyHicks.com

Mark Sternlicht

Mark Sternlicht

Party: Democrat

Background: Superior Court Judge since May 2021. Former partner at Beaver Courie Sternlicht Hearp & Broadfoot, representing people in injury, employment, and civil rights cases. Continuing education teacher for judges and lawyers. UNC Law School graduate.

Please share your personal statement about why you want to serve on this court:
As a judge, I can serve more people than I could in private practice. I have handled hundreds of cases since being a judge, far more than I would have in private practice. Most importantly, I treat everyone who appears before me fairly and respectfully and make decisions based on the facts and law.

What, if anything, should be added to the NC Code of Judicial Conduct regarding recusal and/or political activity of judges?
The Code and appellate decisions provide adequate guidelines for recusal of Superior Court Judges. The Code could be improved by decreasing the politics in judicial elections by limiting judges’ ability to declare themselves candidates soon after being elected so they can support other candidates.

Website: MarkSternlicht.com

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 1

Toni S. King

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 2

Frances McDuffie

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 3

David H. Hasty

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 4

Stephen Craig Stokes

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 5

Cheri Siler-Mack

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 6

Rosalyn Hood

Rosalyn Hood

Party: Democrat

Background: Combat Veteran and Bronze Star recipient with over 20 years of Post 9/11 military service and Career Prosecutor with over 14 years of experience as an Assistant District Attorney, advocating for justice in both District and Superior Courts.

Please share your personal statement about why you want to serve on this court:
To bring a professionalism to the bench that reinforces the dignity of all participants, free of bias, outside influence, and politics and shows respect for the law, the litigants, and the litigators who appear in court where only the law and the facts of the case determine a judge’s ruling.

What, if anything, should be added to the NC Code of Judicial Conduct regarding recusal and/or political activity of judges?
The NC Code of Judicial Conduct regarding recusal and/or political activity of judges and particularly Cannon 7 is absolutely clear and sufficient as to the guidelines governing appropriate political conduct for judges.

Website: RosalynHoodforJudge.com

Jonathan C. Strange

Jonathan C. Strange

Party: Republican

Background: I am a general practice attorney in Fayetteville with 14 years of experience. My practice is focused on civil and criminal trials. Pro bono representation of Domestic Violence victims and Landlord/Tenant law.

Please share your personal statement about why you want to serve on this court:
I believe we need judges with a variety of legal and life experiences. Judges should have experience with how laws in different areas overlap. Judges need to understand how the laws push and pull against each other. My legal practice has uniquely qualified me to serve in this position.

What, if anything, should be added to the NC Code of Judicial Conduct regarding recusal and/or political activity of judges?
In the practice of law, attorneys are called upon every day to determine if there is anything that would prevent them from fair and zealous advocacy in a legal matter. Individual judges are in the best position to determine if they can be fair and impartial in each matter that comes before them.

Website: StrangeForJudge.com

NC DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DISTRICT 12 – SEAT 7

Caitlin Evans

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

CUMBERLAND COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Billy West

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

CUMBERLAND COUNTY COMMISSIONER – AT-LARGE

Marshall Faircloth

Marshall Faircloth

Party: Democrat

Background: Lifelong Cumberland County resident. Certified Public Accountant. 20+ years local government accounting and auditing. Four terms as County Commissioner, 3 years as Chairman, 4 years as Vice Chairman.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Public water in contaminated areas of county. Keep taxes low. Economic development. Services to homeless population.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, jobs for youth, or climate change and conservation):
Jobs for youth: Fostering common sense economic incentives to bring better jobs to our community is a must. Right now, there are more jobs available than there are willing workers, but wages will have to increase locally to attract talent. For our younger workers, we need more internships and targeted training.

Website: no response from candidate

Veronica B. Jones

Veronica B. Jones

Party: Democrat

Background: 30-plus years professional leadership experience combined in Mental Health, Family Services, & Communications. Owner of Jones Global Foundation and JGF Consulting. Served on city & county Boards: (FSU, Methodist University & several CC Boards)

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

  1. Improve Public Safety, Address Gun Violence, Create housing trust & improve affordable housing to allow creation of jobs, opportunities for economic development, increased job retention.
  2. Strengthen Community Relations through ACTS (Actions, Communications, Transparency & Services).

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, jobs for youth, or climate change and conservation):
Affordable housing: Affordable housing can uplift residents, encourages social connection, reduce overcrowding, increases adjacent property values, attracts jobs, lowers crime rates. Addressing AH affordability is the most cost effective way of lifting adults & children out of poverty increasing economic mobility.

Website: VeronicaJonesNC.com

Ron Ross

Ron Ross

Party: Republican

Background: I have been the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club/Center for 36 years. Working for a non-profit has taught me financial management and if elected, I will always be putting the people first.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Lowering Property taxes, Better paying Jobs, More Senior Citizen programs (Improving the quality life for all).

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, jobs for youth, or climate change and conservation):
Affordable housing: In the 1970’s, the Government had a loan program called FHA 235 that helped a person buy a home. The Homeowner would pay a portion of the loan, the Government would pay a portion; as a person’s income increased, the Government paid less until the homeowner was paying the full amount.

Website: no response from candidate

John Szoka

John Szoka

Party: Republican

no response from candidate

CUMBERLAND COUNTY COMMISSIONER – DISTRICT 1

Jeannette Council

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

Glenn B. Adams

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

CUMBERLAND COUNTY CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT

Lisa A. Scales

Party: Democrat

candidate is unopposed

CUMBERLAND COUNTY SHERIFF

LaRue Windham

LaRue Windham

Party: Republican

Background: 31 years, 20 Cumberland County Sheriff’s office. Promoted to Captain Dep. Operations Cmdr, 11 N.C. Dept. of Public Safety adult corrections/prisons, Probation/ Parole, bachelor degree Criminal Justice Administration, FBI NAT. ACADEMY 205th session.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
School safety, control substance epidemic (fentanyl), these are the top topics amongst the residents of Cumberland County along with human trafficking. Having weekly press releases allowing citizens to know what is being done making their communities safer.

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
Forming a citizen review board allowing the members to see results of stopping current crime, sharing their concerns & ideas. Transparency, being available to all with concerns. Citizens feel ignored, that will stop, it will be seen how serious I am regaining trust of the deputies and citizens.

Website: no response from candidate

Ennis W. Wright

Ennis W. Wright

Party: Democrat

Background: A native of Cumberland County, NC and a veteran. In 1994, I began my law enforcement career. I have held many leadership positions, beginning as a patrol deputy and now as Sheriff since 2017. I am serving my 28th year as a law enforcement officer.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
(1) Safety, innovation, crime prevention, & response; (2) continuing with new body-camera system & use of technology & scientific methods, traditional techniques to solve crimes, & recruiting the best personnel; (3) maintaining the integrity of this Office & highest standards of honesty & fairness

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
I am accountable to the people. Legislators set requisites for recording release we must follow. Where quicker disclosure is legal, we will continue to do so. County Commissioners must fund more mental facilities, transportation for those in mental health crises & incentives for personnel.

Website: Wright4Sheriff.com

CUMBERLAND COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION – AT-LARGE

Julissa Jumper

Background: Born in the Dominican Republic, I am a naturalized citizen. Master of Arts degree, NY University School of Education; U.S Army veteran; Real Estate Broker, Business Owner, and Investor; Mother of 3; public school, private school and homeschool Mom.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Our top 3 priorities are student mastery of the core subjects of reading, writing, and math above any other subject matter; restoring parental rights to determine medical (masking, vaccinations) and curriculum decisions; and retaining and supporting teachers rather than expanding administration.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
All students were negatively affected by the decisions of government, board and school officials in response to COVID. But, before that, our county lagged well behind in meeting education goals. Only by emphasizing early mastery of reading and math skills can we prepare all students for success.

Website: JulissaJumper.com

Charles McKellar

Charles McKellar

Background: B.A. degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University.  Served honorably in the U.S. Air Force for 31 years (retired). Served 10 years as a Guardian Ad Litem.  FTCC instructor (14 years).  Currently a board member At-Large.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
My top 2 priorities are to continue to focus on teachers and students as the center of my commitment to public education. My third priority is to support programs that have timetables and are measurable to reduce our 23 low-performing schools.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
Once the board recognizes and accepts that disparities exist, we can then match teachers to students who understand the environments in which they live and who bring with them an attitude that all students can learn.

Website: no response from candidate

Nyrell Melvin

Nyrell Melvin

Background: no response from candidate

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

  1. Transparency and Accountability;
  2. Sound Education;
  3. Focus on students as individuals and not a number.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
There is no racial or income disparity. If you teach students things such as Critical Race Theory, they will believe that someone of a different ethnicity learns better than they do, and it will then seem unfair to them and their parents. In reality, it is a matter of teaching styles.

Website: NyrellDMelvin.com

Judy D. Musgrave

Judy D. Musgrave

Background: Incumbent on the Cumberland County Board of Education for the past 8 years;

Curriculum Committee Chair for 4 years; More than 40 years as an Educator; Former Adjunct Professor at FSU; Living Legend Shaw U.; Recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Advocate for all students to be provided with a sound basic education. Continue to let parents know that if students are not successful, economics will suffer, freedom is stifled and children are left without choices, and without choices – we all perish. Continue to put children first!

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
Disparities in learning can be addressed by respecting and valuing every student. I believe that income should not determine the outcome of a student. All children can win. Providing professional development for teachers on learning styles, elements of instruction and sound pedagogy always work.

Website: facebook.com/JudyDMusgrave

John Ornelas

John Ornelas

Background: I am an Army veteran who served through multiple combat deployments. I am a father of children who have successfully graduated from CCS. I also currently have a child and grandchild enrolled in our public school system.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Remove politics from the school district, support our staff and students, and return to teaching true academics.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
Education should be equal for all students regardless of sex, race, religion, and economics.

Website: facebook.com/JOrnelas4CCBOE

Carol Stubbs

Carol Stubbs

Background: For 28 years I was an employee for Cumberland County Schools. I was elected as President of Cumberland County Association of Educators and I served on the Education Support Professional Board. To help me to professionally grow, I attended workshops.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Each student, each parent/guardian, and each staff member must feel an educational culture that welcomes each one of them in each school. I want Students, Educators, and Parents to feel that they belong when they enter our school and office doors. When people enter our schools, they feel the welcome.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
Our Cumberland County Schools family deserves to feel the power of love, and the benefits of a safe environment to learn and to teach in. We must nurture both students and others through positive educational progressions.

Website: no response from candidate

Greg West

Greg West

Background: I am a product of Cumberland County Schools and am the parent of a high school student. I have served for several terms and have the understanding, experience and leadership necessary to help achieve the district’s goals. 

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:

  1. Continue fighting for increased teacher and staff pay.
  2. Continue fighting for funds to upgrade our facilities.
  3. Continue fighting for increased school safety. These three items will help ensure every student will have equitable access to engaging learning that prepares them for success.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
I have an old adage that you “manage what you measure.” I believe that we must keep using data to point us to the disparities and allocate resources to overcome these differences. If we can put people in orbit, then we can figure out how to get all kids to a similar academic level over 12 years!

Website: VoteGregWest.com

Jacquelyn Brown

Jacquelyn Brown

Background: Retired Educator: 30 years of service in the Cumberland County School System; Teacher’s Assistant (TA): Grades K through 8, Self-Contained and SED Classes; School Administrator Assistant; GOMAD Kiwanis Builder’s Club Mentor and Leader

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Unity and Understanding. Implementing a system in which all people; faculty, staff, students, administrators, and parents, are treated with respect and dignity. More parent involvement. I will fight for a parent’s right to voice their concerns in all areas of their child’s education.

How should the Board of Education address disparities in learning for students of different races and family incomes?
Different children learn in different ways. Each one is unique.  We should develop programs that cater to those unique ways of learning instead of having one uniform method.  We should also provide extra learning tools such as books, tablet computers, and school supplies to low income families.

Website: facebook.com/profile.php?id=100084178461206