NC Senator Jeff Jackson hosted a “Ready for November” event at Lost Province Brewing Co. Aug. 30 to raise funds for competitive Senate candidates such as Wes Luther and Ray Russell, who also attended the event.
“We are not having our true political voice be heard,” Jackson said. “If we can get there, it unlocks a world of progress.”
Jackson’s goal is to flip a handful of seats in the NC Senate by winning Republican votes which he hopes will ultimately lead to political balance in the state, according to Jackson’s Facebook page.
The restaurant was filled with a variety of people who all shared Jackson’s same mission.
“It’s always good to have people that we elect that we can work with and make sure that they’re passing legislation that actually helps,” Lynn Mason, Boone town council member, said.
Jackson is the youngest Democratic senator in the NC General Assembly and stands on topics such as creating new jobs, public education and ensuring a fair political process for all, according to Jackson’s website.
“A couple years back I discovered Jeff Jackson and he spoke how I felt and so I turned to him, supported him and put my money into him,” John Blake, attendee, said.
Support was shared amongst attendees for not only Jackson but Luther and Russell as well.
“I’ve met Jeff previously, I heard him speak and I’m very impressed with the policies he espouses and the way he carries himself. I felt that it was important that Jeff also meet Wes this evening,” Brian Juneau, attendee, said.
Luther is an App State student who is majoring in sustainable technology. He also said that he was a U.S. Marine, serving from 2008 to 2015.
“The reason I’m running for state senate is because there are many issues we are facing today that are being largely ignored by leads in the state capital,” Luther, candidate for District 45, said.
Luther continued by speaking about the two biggest issues he would like to address: education and the environment. Luther said he has hopes that teachers will receive proper funding and the environment will be better protected.
Russell has worked as a computer science professor at App State since 1991. He has also served as a minister at churches in North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Georgia, according to Russell’s website.
“Education. Healthcare. Environment. Jobs and growth. Those are the things that matter here,” Russell, candidate for District 93, said.
Russell is largely known for RaysWeather.com, an online weather website for the Southern Appalachian Region. It was recognized as the “Business of the Year” from the Boone Chamber of Commerce in 2016, according to Russell’s website.
“If my party flips a handful of seats it will unlock the governor’s veto which will reshape the state’s political landscape,” Jackson said. “What you have to do is let people know just how close we are to achieving something really big for the state.”
Jackson will host several more events before elections to raise not only funds but awareness of problems that have arisen and candidates who plan to fix them.
Story by Brooke Bryant
Photo by Vince Fortea
Featured photo caption: State Senator Jeff Jackson speaking at Lost Province on Thursday evening. Jackson hosted a “Ready for November” event to raise money and generate support for contested elections for the North Carolina Senate this year.