CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS, PART 2: The County Races

This is the second in my series of posts assessing the merits of the numerous candidates that will appear on the November 4th General Election ballot for Carteret County, HERE, and on our BALLOT REPLICA.  In the four or so weeks remaining before election day, I will post another assessment every few days until the entire ballot has been covered.

To repeat my earlier advisory, these assessments of the candidates will be guided by the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots’ CORE PRINCIPLES of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets.  These principles are almost universally shared by conservatives, and particularly by conservative Republicans.  Conversely, they are eschewed by the liberal left, and by adherents of the Democratic party in general.  Therefore, if there be no other suitable guidepost, the Republican candidate will be favored.

This post will be concerned with the seven offices listed under the Partisan Offices section of the ballot, all of which are for offices within Carteret County.  In order as they will appear on the ballot:

Board of County Commissioners, District 1:

Republican Robin Comer, currently serving as the Vice-Chairman for the Board, is running unopposed for re-election.  Even if he had opposition, he would still be the clear choice.

Board of County Commissioners, District 2:

Republican Bill Smith is running unopposed.  And in this instance also, even if he had opposition he would still be the clear choice.

Board of County Commissioners, District 3:

In this race, Democrat Roger Eaton is being challenged by Republican Mark Mansfield.  Members of the CCTPP are MarkMansfieldwell acquainted with Mark Mansfield (photo at right), as he has appeared before several of our meetings this summer and fall, and was a speaker at our recent Tea Party Rally at Fort Benjamin Park.  He has a background in business and entrepreneurship, and is the clear conservative choice.

Board of County Commissioners, District 6:

Republican Jonathan Robinson is running unopposed.  And in this instance as well, even if he had opposition he would still be the clear choice.

County Clerk of Superior Court:

There are two contenders in this race, Republican Pam Hanson and challenger Ben Ball, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate.  Hanson is the incumbent, has been now for three and one-half years, has been doing a good job in the office, and has held up well to the scrutiny given to her conduct and views in her several appearances before the members of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots.

Ben Ball is well known due to his exposure as a local radio host, but he has no experience in public elective office, and in his appearances before the members of the CCTPP, he was unable to articulate any particular reason why he should be preferred over the incumbent, other than to say he wanted to “give the voters a choice”.  When asked why he waited until mid-summer to announce his effort to get on the ballot (by means of a petition) rather than filing last fall, he told me that it was basically about money.  He went on to explain that, had he announced last fall, his employer would have been required to re-assign him to duties away from his radio host microphone, which would have resulted in a pay cut.  In short, Ball does not seem to have mounted a well-considered campaign, and although he seems like a nice enough fellow, in my judgment he is not a suitable candidate for a county-level office.

Pam Hanson is the candidate most attuned to the principles of the CCTPP, and should be retained in this office.  For more on what she considers to be her qualifications for the office, below is a short video (less than three minutes) taken from her opening statement at the recent debates.

County Register of Deeds:

There are also two contenders in this race, Republican challenger Jerry Hardesty and the incumbent, Joy Lawrence, a Democrat.

Lawrence has worked in the office for over two decades and has served as its head for about six years.  Hardesty is a Morehead City businessman, currently being the owner and operator of a local firearms dealership.  Hardesty has also appeared multiple times before the members of the CCTPP at their local meetings, and has given a good account of his conservative credentials.

Jerry Hardesty is the candidate whose views and policy prescriptions are most aligned with the CCTPP.  For more on what he considers to be his qualifications for the office, below is a short video (less than two minutes) taken from his opening statement at the recent debates.

County Sheriff:

Asa Buck, the Republican incumbent, is running unopposed. He seems to have been doing an outstanding job in the office, and deserves re-election.

District Attorney, District 3B:

I realize that this is not a Carteret County office, as District 3B encompasses all of Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico counties.  However, the incumbent, Democrat Scott Thomas, is running unopposed so the outcome is preordained.  Thomas was formerly a member of the NC State Senate, where he struck many as presenting an image as a moderate Democrat while voting as a liberal.  For example, he voted for tax increases after having taken a no-tax-increases pledge.  He will win, of course, but I will not be voting for him.

In the next installment, I will look at the contest for the NC House of Representatives.