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Political notebook: Shirley Martin campaigns as write-in Landis candidate

In July, Shirley Martin said she was apprehensive about filing for Landis Board of Aldermen.

After talking to others, she went to the Board of Elections on Oct. 3 to fill out her statement of organization. Now, Martin, 69, running a write-in campaign for the Landis Board of Aldermen, saying she hopes to bring continued stability and unity to the town.

“The bleeding has stopped — so to speak — and we have to be overcomers on the same path,” Martin said.

She said things are now going in the right direction in town government, but there continues to be room for improvement, which is her reasoning for wanting to sit on the board.

“What’s going to happen here and thinking about what has happened, going forward we need to stay on track with what’s already in place,” Martin said. “A new board is not going to cure all the ills of the town but we’re going to be able, if elected, if we band together and watch for the town’s sake.”

As a retired business owner, Martin says the town should be run like a business. Martin said she understands that Landis will always be a small town. She has seen houses built and filled, but she wants to reach out to commercial businesses for them to set up in the town.

She also wants the town to have a more active role in events and activities for citizens.

Martin is a member of the Landis Baptist Church, volunteers at Mission House clothes closet and enjoys catering and working with town events.

She is married to Buck Martin and has five children and 14 grandchildren.

Martin says she’s supporting Alderman Bobby Brown for mayor and Darrell Overcash for alderman.

Martin said Brown’s board experience is needed for the town.

“He could totally pick up as mayor and go forward,” Martin said.

Tillis ends 3rd quarter with $4.9 million cash on hand

Sen. Thom Tillis re-election campaign announced Oct. 15 that it outraised its challengers during the third quarter, and has a substantial cash on hand advantage for both the primary and general elections.

That includes Democrat Cal Cunningham, who still fell short of Tillis, with $1.2 million raised this quarter.

Tillis’ Republican primary challenger Garland Tucker fared far worse, as he raised only $254,000 from donors this quarter, and has $107,000 in cash on hand. 

“The third quarter of the North Carolina Senate race was a rough one for those trying to challenge Senator Tillis,” said Tillis campaign manager Luke Blanchat. 

He said they would continue to share the senator’s record that has resonated with voters.

“Our campaign has continued to steadily increase our resources while simultaneously beginning the process of sharing Senator Tillis’ record of working with President Trump for the good of all North Carolinians,” Blanchat said. “We are confident that the strong operation we are building will allow us to be victorious in both the primary and the general elections.”

Voter Confidence Campaign launches statewide

The State Board of Elections on Thursday launched a campaign to inform voters about the ways North Carolina elections officials and their security partners safeguard elections and to empower voters to take an active role in the process.

During a news conference, State Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell unveiled the hashtag, #YourVoteCountsNC. It will be used throughout the campaign, which will run through the 2020 election. The campaign will include regular social media posts, a dedicated web page at ncsbe.gov/Voting-Options/Election-Security, news releases, news conferences, appearances at events and other activities.

“YourVoteCountsNC” embodies two top priorities of elections officials across North Carolina, according to the State Board of Elections. 

“First, we want all eligible individuals in North Carolina to register and vote and to recognize the importance of their vote,” Brinson Bell said. “Second, we want voters to know all of the steps we take to ensure fair and accurate elections, so they will be confident that their vote counts.”

HPU Poll: North Carolinians say sexual harassment at work is a problem

The High Point University Poll has found that a majority, 75%, of North Carolinians said that sexual harassment at work in the United States is a serious problem, and 68% said the same about sexual harassment at work in North Carolina. 

According to the HPU Poll, 39% of North Carolina residents said that sexual harassment is a very serious problem in the United States and 36% said it is a somewhat serious problem, for a total of 75%. Thirty-one percent of North Carolina residents said this type of harassment is a very serious problem in North Carolina and 37% said it is a somewhat serious problem, for a total of 68%.

Looking at the North Carolina responses, results indicate that people in North Carolina feel the same about the state as they did when the poll asked the same question in a fall 2017 poll.

For example, 68% of North Carolinians said that sexual harassment at work is a serious problem in North Carolina, and 70% said the same thing about two years ago.

“This is the second time we have asked these questions of people in North Carolina, and large majorities continue to see sexual harassment in the workplace as a serious problem,” said Martin Kifer, associate professor of political science and director of the HPU Poll. “It is important to a large enough proportion of people that we’ll check from time to time to see if attitudes have changed one way or the other.”

The poll was conducted on Sept 27-Oct. 4 and had 1,009 responses statewide.

Hudson introduces bill to bring oversight to VA’s electronic health records implementation

U.S. Rep.Richard Hudson, R-8, recently introduced legislation to ensure veterans have access to seamless electronic health records across the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) health systems.

The bill is bipartisan and called the Department of Veterans Affairs Electronic Health Record Advisory Committee Act, H.R. 4693.

“Veterans regularly come to my office with stacks and stacks of papers, service records and medical files,” Hudson said. “It’s almost 2020 – it’s past time for our veterans to have the best technology at their disposal, and my bill will ensure we have transparency and accountability to make this transition as seamless as possible for our veterans. My top priority continues to be providing veterans timely, accessible, and high-quality health care.”

 Rep. Hudson introduced the bill with Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-MD.

“My team spends a lot of time cutting through needless bureaucracy and red tape for veterans who need to access their medical records — a process that can currently take up to six months,” Ruppersberger said. “Our nation’s heroes deserve a modern, efficient health care system that ensures they can access information when they need it most. This bipartisan bill will ensure that’s the case.” 

Specifically, Hudson and Ruppersberger introduced H.R. 4693 to establish an independent, third-party oversight committee to help monitor the implementation of the VA’s new electronic health record system. It will establish an independent 11-member Electronic Health Record Advisory Committee to ensure that on-the-ground stakeholders continue to have a voice throughout this decade-long rollout.

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