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Political notebook: District 13 Democratic delegates want DCCC’s hands out of primary

By Andie Foley
andie.foley@salisburypost.com

On Saturday, Democratic Party delegates for the United States House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 13th District passed a resolution for what they called “fair local representation.”

The resolution came in response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s heavy hand in this year’s primary election.

The committee has championed Manning since before she filed for candidacy. In January, she was added to the committee’s “Red to Blue” program, which the committee said “arms top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to run strong campaign.”

Democratic Party delegates found pause with this outside support in a contested primary.

Delegates likened the endorsement and financial support to a party office holder managing a campaign without vacating office.

Moreover, the resolution said, endorsing one candidate in a contested primary could be considered an outside force interfering in a local political race.

“This influence by people or groups not being represented by eventual winner subverts the democratic process by undermining the purpose and function of primaries,” the resolution read. “… It can be argued that these outside forces usurp the protection afforded, under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, the one-person, one-vote rule.”

The resolution also called the committee’s support of any one particular candidate a “disruptive and undemocratic force.”

More pointedly, the group felt that such massive support was causing division within the district, “visibly evidenced by animosity on social media,” the resolution read.

By voting in favor of the resolution, delegates committed to requesting that the North Carolina Democratic Party forbid the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from supporting candidates in the primary election.

“I wrote the resolution as a matter of principle; as a matter of rules that some if us, as Democratic officers must follow, to not show partisanship during a contested primary,” said Larry Cormier, who penned the resolution. “I do not support, nor detract from either of the candidates, and one should vote for the candidate with the right platform. We do not need Washington people tilting the scales on who should represent me.”

Marc Tiegel calls for removal of Confederate flag from fire station

TROY – Marc Tiegel, Democratic congressional candidate for North Carolina’s 8th District, is calling for the removal of the Confederate flag that currently flies over the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department in Troy.

Tiegel, a former firefighter and first responder who started his career at a volunteer firehouse, challenges the flag as a dangerous barrier to service for minority members of the community.

Past local-level efforts to bring down the flag have proven unsuccessful. In 2016, responding to community complaints, the Montgomery County Board of Elections delisted the fire department as a polling place due to the presence of the Confederate flag.

In November of 2017, the Committee for a Better Montgomery County rallied to have the flag removed.

Because the department is sited on private property, Montgomery County commissioners notified the fire department in November that they would limit funds to cover only the fueling and maintenance of the two county-owned trucks possessed by the fire department until the Confederate flag was lowered.

To date, the department has elected to hold fundraisers to cover all other operating costs rather than take down the flag.

The Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department has stated that its purpose is to provide fire protection to all people regardless of race. Yet, Tiegel said he was concerned that the presence of the Confederate flag may prevent minority community members from accessing help from the fire department.

“If even a perceived barrier prevents a member of the community from seeking assistance, the risk of catastrophic harm is too great,” he said.

Once in office, Tiegel said he pledges to seek aid through FEMA and other government programs to fully fund a public firehouse in northwest Montgomery County. This firehouse, he said, would assist all members of the community without inserting divisive symbols into its relationship with those it serves.

“No public building, especially emergency facilities whose sole purpose is to serve the public equally, should fly that flag,” said Tiegel. “If the city or state can’t guarantee the unfettered right to equal access to emergency assistance, then the Federal government must.”

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