Note: This is letter 2 of 4 to all candidates.
Sir you are on my facebook page and I posted the following on January 12, 2014, “Rep. Joe Pat Tolson House District 23 Will Not Seek Re-election Sources Say.” I stated the following, “I live in the district and very much concerned about the seat being filled. If you are interested in filing for this seat please send me an inbox or call me at 252.314.5484 asap.” I made the request above and it was up to you to contact me. Nope nobody has to contact me but if one wants my vote it would be wise especially since I am a blogger and have many, many followers locally and across the state and nation.
Mr. Shelly Willingham I read the following in the local newspaper on January 17, “Willingham ponders District 23 run.” I read this after I read the following on January 15, “Knight to seek state house seat?”
I thank you for calling me before you filed and sharing your intentions however at that time I told you that I would wait until the filing period closes before I will respond to who I would be supporting. Mind you at this time Attorney William Solomon had told me he was probably going to file so therefore it would have been 3 of you at that time. I also told you that I would try calling a meeting with all of those whom have filed when the filing period closed.
I know it has been your desire to serve in the NC General Assembly for many years dating back to the 90’s when I was the interim Edgecombe County Democratic Party Chair from 1998-1999 when now Rev. Roy Gray stepped down and I was appointed by the ECDP County Executive Committee to fill his unexpired term. I didn’t want it but the 1st Vice Chair had to resign because she was challenging another Democrat in the primary, the 2nd Vice Chair had had surgery and didn’t want to move up and I was the 3rd Vice Chair. I didn’t attend the meeting that night to move up because I don’t like titles that can handicap me. But my name was nominated from the floor because some folks didn’t want Rev. Roosevelt Higgs.
During the time I was in office you were able to sit on the House Committee for the particular district whereby you were able to vote yourself in along with about 5 others. I protested that I felt it was unfair that you were able to vote for yourself but that was perfectly legal. I was hoping you would have stepped down and allowed someone else to sit on the committee since you were interested in the appointment. You were appointed to serve in the NC House the seat that Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield was then elected to serve and still serve. I was not in the district but after some folks asked me to help them, I joined Farmer-Butterfield’s camp. I was able to bring a couple of folks over from your camp to join us.
I supported you a couple of years ago when you ran for the Senate District 3 seat and I worked on your campaign in the background until I couldn’t take anymore. Although it was hard supporting you because of several reasons that are too numerous to talk about, I chose to give you a chance simply because everyone knows where I have stood about getting a black elected to the seat since the Senate District 3 was created. But in spite of trying to make it happen, you drove some others and myself away. I really believe we could have pulled it off if you had listened to the team we had put together.
I appreciate you contacting me several times and at the moment I have been waiting on you to call me back as you were suppose to do after I received a phone call from you over the weekend.
In my closing, I regret that you chose to file for the House seat however know that you are now a public figure and it is on. You know me and I know you so let the chips fall where they lay. Do know that we can agree to disagree on some things but as it relates to the House seat I want to see a younger person in the seat.
I am one of the most publicly active Democrats in Edgecombe County and I have been challenging all Democrats especially elected officials since I first became active in the early 90’s. I am a videographer and blogger so therefore I capture meetings, events and etc. I post them on my blog while making comments and giving others the opportunity to see things for themselves and after watching the entire video they can agree or disagree with me and most of all make an informed decision versus getting bits and pieces of what happened from the local newspapers.
Stay tuned for letters to the other candidates coming soon.