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Voter Guide for Rocky Mount City Council and Nash County Sheriff 2022

Table of Contents

VOTE IN ROCKY MOUNT’S ELECTION

Election Day is May 17

Early Voting is April 28 – May 14

Pick the Winners

Rocky Mount elects the Mayor and City Council in non-partisan elections for 4-year terms. Some seats are elected every two years. The delayed Census results caused the 2021 election to be postponed until 2022.

This year, Rocky Mount voters living in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 7 may select 1 candidate for the City Council to represent their Ward. Only voters living in the Ward can vote for that Ward’s representatives. Ward lines were redrawn after the Census. Find out which Ward you live in at demnc.co/distr.

The City Council appoints the City Manager, adopts city laws, and oversees the functions in the box below.

VOTER GUIDE

Ward 2 Voters - Vote for 1 Candidate

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SAMUEL (SAM-ROC) BATTLE

no response from candidate

REUBEN C. BLACKWELL IV PORTRAIT

REUBEN C. BLACKWELL IV

Occupation: President & CEO, OIC of Rocky Mount

Background: 35 years of Economic Development, Entrepreneurial Development, Workforce Development programming; Civil Rights Advocate for almost 50 years; Community Economic Development and Health/Wellness practitioner for 26 years; Not-for-Profit Executive for 26 years; Public servant for 22 years

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected?
Enhanced quality of life for all Rocky Mount citizens by supporting sustainable, eco-friendly affordable housing strategies; commitment to continuing to build a strong Downtown core; and ensuring a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion guides all my decision making in every deliberation.

Give an example of how you would address a particular issue. Affordable housing: Support a comprehensive affordable housing plan; launch a holistic and transformational Affordable Housing Bond; raise private capital to complement public investment for more and varied housing options; strengthen pathways for homeownership; establish a Community Land Trust

Website: facebook.com/ReElectReubenBlackwell

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JOYLETTE WHITAKER

no response from candidate

Ward 3 Voters - Vote for 1 Candidate

RICHARD JOYNER PORTRAIT

RICHARD JOYNER

Occupation: Pastor, Conetoe Missionary Baptist Church; Board Chair, Conetoe Family Life Center, Inc

Background: Retired from Nash General Hospital-Chaplain

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected?
The Top priorities if elected are 1. Growing Healthy Gardens, 2. affordable housing, 3. Jobs for Youth, and 4. police accountability.

Give an example of how you would address a particular issue. Affordable housing: Continue to collaborate with the churches to get the construction work on homes already in community at no cost, only the cost for the material.

BRONSON WILLIAMS PORTRAIT

BRONSON WILLIAMS

Occupation: Media Communications Professional

Background: A lifelong Ward 3 resident and continue to serve the community I love. I been active in raising awareness of various local, state, and national issues through mass media.  Graduate of RMHS and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from East Carolina University.

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected?
We must work towards creating a balance in local public dollars. For far too long disinvestment in Ward 3 has created pockets of poverty, crime, declining home values, and primed for gentrification. We must tackle these issues first hand to include affordable housing and comprehensive development.

Give an example of how you would address a particular issue. Affordable housing: We must explore every possible avenue to reinvest in community affordable housing. We cannot do it without a solid plan that addresses the current and future needs of our city. Perhaps one approach is a housing and community bond to inject the needed capital to succeed.

Website: BronsonForWard3.com

CRYSTAL A. WIMES-ANDERSON PORTRAIT

CRYSTAL A. WIMES-ANDERSON

Occupation: Registered Nurse

Background: Public service work within the following areas: special needs social worker, registered nurse in acute, long-term, home-health, dialysis settings, health education specialist, Red Cross instructor/volunteer for transient shelter, hospital and faith community liaison, community and patient advocate.

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected?
Enhanced and Improved Communication; Improving Community Health, which entails Public Safety; Youth Engagement; Economic Development

Give an example of how you would address a particular issue. Affordable housing: Defining affordable housing is key to ensuring citizens understand how economic development ties into the bigger picture. When citizens understand that home ownership and preventative maintenance factors into their price, they can become more receptive to self-accountability.

Website: nowallsinc.wixsite.com/website; facebook.com/profile.php?id=100077485071641

Ward 6 Voters - Vote for 1 Candidate

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TOM HARRIS

candidate is unopposed

Ward 7 Voters - Vote for 1 Candidate

PETE ARMSTRONG PORTRAIT

PETE ARMSTRONG

Occupation: Retired

Background: 35-year resident – Ward 7. Pres.-Northgreen Association. 2 degrees – UNC-CH.  Career: Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation (28 years) (Sports Complex, Imperial Centre, MLK Park); Dir. of Recreation Res-NCSU. RM Lions Club. Boards – Twin County Hall of Fame, TR Orchestra and Chorus. Member – St. Andrews Ch.

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected?  Workforce Housing – Adequate housing affects children’s ability to function, it builds self-esteem and makes RM a better place. Equal Representation for All of RM – All RM needs support from government (housing, parks, streets) Open, and Responsible Gov’t. – builds confidence and support in gov.

Give an example of how you would address a particular issue.  Affordable housing: We should rebuild dilapidated houses. Unify and coordinate all its housing programs. Council should set policies regarding housing and staff institute them. Investigate potential public and private partnerships. Use local builders, and follow all regulations. Follow up on grant requirements.

Website: ElectPeteArmstrong.com

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JABARIS (JKELLY) WALKER

no response from candidate

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LINWOOD J. WILLIAMS

no response from candidate

Who should be Sheriff?

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In addition to the non-partisan Rocky Mount election, the parties hold their primary on May 17. Democrats and Republicans use separate ballots to choose their nominees for the November election. Unaffiliated voters may choose either party’s ballot in the May Primary, but will remain Unaffiliated

Voters using the Democratic Party ballot may pick the Democrats’ nominee for Nash County Sheriff for November. Republican candidate Keith Stone has no primary opponent and will be on November’s ballot.

The Nash County Sheriff is responsible for law enforcement in the county, providing resource officers for county schools, maintaining the county jail, and conducting other programs.

Candidates in this Voter Guide appear in the order they will appear on the ballot.

Nash County Sheriff Democratic Primary Candidates

JOSEPH GRIMES PORTRAIT

JOSEPH GRIMES

Party: Democratic

Occupation: Deputy Sheriff

Background: I am a native of Nash County, graduate of Northern Nash High School, attended NC A&T State University, Harris Barber College and Central Piedmont Community College. I currently serve as a Deputy Sheriff with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer and sworn deputy.

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected?  1st priority is public safety to reduce crime in Nash County. 2nd priority is focus on public information and community engagement to promote a cohesive partnership, ONE NASH. 3rd priority is to develop programs for the detention center focusing on substance abuse and mental health disorders.

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?  As Nash County continues to grow, the Sheriff’s office needs to adapt with the demand for modern technology and the need for transparency, which are my areas of focus. The need for new equipment and the latest technology is essential to provide great service for all residents of Nash County.

Website: JosephGrimesForNashCountySheriff.com

DAVID BRAKE PORTRAIT

DAVID BRAKE

Party: Democratic

Occupation: Retired Major, Nash County Sheriff’s Office

Background: Born and raised in Nash County NC; Former U.S. Marine; Participated in two combat campaigns; 11 year veteran North Carolina Department of Corrections; Retired Major Nash County Sheriff’s Office; Criminal Justice/ Law Enforcement Driving Instructor; Hostage Negotiator; Advance Law Enforcement Certification

What are your top 2 or 3 priorities if you are elected? Ensure visible Law enforcement presence; Strengthen relationships with local law enforcement, first responders and service-related agencies; Deputies will familiarize themselves with the communities; Resources of the Sheriff’s office will be devoted directly to the community to prevent crime

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?  Seek advice of our local leaders; Incidents will be thoroughly investigated including viewing of related videos. Videos will be released in accordance with state and federal laws; Current mental health procedures/resources will be evaluated with regards to incarcerated individuals and citizens

Website: DavidBrakeForSheriff.com

MORE INFO

Three good reasons for you to vote

  1. Your vote can make a big difference in who wins a local election.
    How just one person voted − or didn’t vote − determined the winners in over 30 North Carolina cities in 2021. Your vote matters!
  2. The City Council makes decisions affecting nearly every part of your life −
    affordable housing, police conduct, new jobs, parks, street repair, transit, neighborhood zoning. But you decide who wins!
  3. Listen to what other voters say about why they’re voting . . .

“. . . too many of my ancestors died for me not to be using my right to vote.” – Kristen Marion

“. . . city elections can be very close, so my one vote could have a big impact.” – Angelica Robles

“. . . it’s not just about who’s president. Who runs local government directly affects me.” – Austin Padilla

“. . . I want someone in city hall fighting for issues important to our community.” – Robert Dawkins

What does the City Council do?

The Mayor and the 7 other Rocky Mount City Council members make a wide range of decisions affecting your life. They hire and supervise the city manager, who hires the police chief and other department heads, who all report to the manager. The Council sets policies and priorities and oversees the many functions of local government, including:

  • The Police & Fire Departments
  • Zoning & Building Code Enforcement
  • Economic & Community Development
  • Streets, Sidewalks & Road Repair
  • Electricity & Natural Gas Service
  • Recreation, Parks & Arts Programs
  • Tax Rates & the City Budget
  • Anti-Discrimination Ordinances
  • Water, Waste Disposal & Recycling
  • City Govt. Employee Wages & Benefits
  • Sports Complex & Senior Center
  • Appointments to Boards & Committees

This 2022 voter guide for Rocky Mount

is produced by Democracy NC and Common Cause, which are not affiliated with any party or candidate.
This Guide provides responses from the candidates and vital information about the voting process. Some candidates did not provide a website. One question asked candidates to choose a topic to address from these 3 topics: affordable housing; police accountability and community relations; or jobs for youth. For questions about registering or voting, call 252-459-1350 or 888-687-8683. Two useful websites are NCVoter.org and NCVoterGuide.org.

Where to Vote Early, April 28-May 14

Best Choice: Take advantage of evening, weekday and weekend hours to vote early. You can also register to vote during Early Voting.

FOR NASH COUNTY EARLY VOTERS:

3 Early Voting locations are open weekdays (M-F), April 28-May 13, 8 am-7:30 pm, and two Saturdays, May 7 and May 14, 8 am-3 pm:

  • Nash Co. Agricultural Center, 1006 Eastern Ave., Nashville
  • Braswell Memorial Library, 727 N. Grace St., Rocky Mount
  • Mt. Pleasant Community Building, 7637 Harris Rd., Bailey

FOR EDGECOMBE COUNTY EARLY VOTERS:

2 Early Voting locations are open weekdays (M-F), April 28-May 13, 8 am-7:30 pm, and one Saturday, May 14, 8 am-3 pm:

  • Dept. of Social Services Bldg., 301 S. Fairview Rd., Rocky Mount
  • Edgecombe Co. Carmon Auditorium, 201 St. Andrews St., Tarboro

Preview all the choices on your entire ballot at ncvoter.org/your-ballot-and-precinct
Questions? Call 888-OUR-VOTE (888-687-8683) or visit NCVoter.org

Adapted from voter guides by Democracy NC & Common Cause.