Challenger for N.C. Senate District 34 seat says Andrew Brock has forgotten Rowan
By Steve Huffman
Bill Burnette said he has a number of problems with Andrew Brock, his opponent in the race for the N.C. Senate District 34 seat.
Not the least of those reservations, Burnette said, is that Brock hasn’t served well Davie and Rowan counties, the two counties that sent him to the Senate.
“My opponent doesn’t represent Davie County well and he’s forgotten Rowan County,” Burnette said. “I promise that won’t happen.”
Burnette, 67, a Davie County businessman and Democrat, is challenging Brock for the Senate seat in November’s election.
He spoke to members of the Rowan County Senior Democrats Tuesday at the group’s monthly meeting at the Tower of Power United Holy Church on East Cemetery Street. About 30 people were on hand.
Burnette was introduced by Larry Brown, the Democrat who challenged Brock for the Senate two years ago.
Brown noted that Brock’s representation has never been highly regarded by those who rate legislators. Earlier this year, Brock was ranked dead last in effectiveness by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.
“He’s been voted time and again the most ineffective member of the N.C. Senate,” Brown said.
He also noted that Brock, 33, still the Senate’s youngest member, has done little in life other than work as a politician. Brock is seeking his fourth consecutive Senate term.
“That’s been his job,” Brown said. “All he’s ever done is politics.”
Burnette told the Senior Democrats that he attended his first convention of the North Carolina Democrats in 1962 and said he’s maintained an interest in politics ever since.
He’s worked for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Piedmont Leaf Tobacco Co. before forming Worldwide Tobacco Co. in 1986. He’s also one of the owners of Lake Louise Golf Course in Mocksville.
“I’m a business person, not a politician,” Burnette told those at Tuesday’s gathering.
He said he raised tobacco back during the glory days of the golden leaf, noting, “I know what it’s like to put your crop in and not even get your seed (money) back.”
Burnette said working to get universal health care for all Americans is one of the main reasons he’s running for the Senate. He said his mother is 95 years old and it costs $10,000 a month to provide her the around-the-clock nursing care she needs.
Burnette said that with that kind of expense, it doesn’t take long to wipe out a person’s life savings, regardless of how much they’ve invested.
“It’s a shame that we can spend $550 billion in Iraq and we can’t take care of the health of our citizens,” Burnette said.
Asked exactly how he’d go about providing universal health care, Burnette admitted he didn’t have all the answers.
“I can’t tell you I’m a magician,” he said. “All I can tell you is, I will work.”
Burnette also said he was tired of the eastern part of North Carolina getting the share of money for road improvements that was intended for Rowan County and other western counties.
“I want to be a part of righting things that are wrong,” Burnette said.