Kamala Harris’ husband campaigns in Boone, encourages early voting

Vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris’  husband encouraged early voting in front of a small masked crowd gathered around picnic tables.

Douglas Emhoff told Boone voters every time he visits North Carolina, he sees an incredible amount of enthusiasm.

Douglas Emhoff, husband of Kamala Harris, gives a speech to inspire voters in Watauga county to get out and vote for candidate Joe Biden during an early voting mobilization event held at Booneshine Brewery in Boone, N.C. on October 26. (Jesse Barber)

“I’m seeing it all over the country because we are traveling to these swing states,” Emhoff said. “They’re sending me the places where they think it’s gonna be close.”

According to FiveThirtyEight, Democrat Joe Biden is leading Republican President Donald Trump by 2.5 points in North Carolina. 

Rep. Ray Russell, representatives for house district 93, opened the event with remarks about early voting.

“We all know this is the most important election of our lifetime,” Russell, an App State professor, said.

Russell said that for the last nine days, he’s worked the polls and greeted voters.

“The biggest thrill I have had though was last Friday in Ashe County,” Russell said. “A family got out of the car yelling ‘Mr. Ray, Mr. Ray. It’s my wife’s first time ever to vote as a U.S. citizen.’ That whole family was so thrilled.”

Russell said he believes most people have taken the opportunity to vote for granted and this election is not something to take for granted.

NC House representative Ray Russell gave a speech before Douglas Emhoff arrived at an early voting mobilization event held at Booneshine Brewery in Boone, N.C. on Oct. 26. (Jesse Barber)

After Russell, Charlie Wallin, county commissioner and candidate for Board of Commissioners District 5, said he wants voters to ensure they vote in every race on the ballot. 

“We need to put our foot down on the gas pedal and keep it moving forward,” Wallin said. “We have to elect Democrats up and down this ballot for this nation and this state.”

Emhoff began his Biden for President Early Voting Mobilization Event at Campus Gas, a refurbished gas station in Winston-Salem.

To follow, Emhoff made a stop at the original Krispy Kreme.

Emhoff then headed to Mazie Woodruff Center, an early voting site in Winston-Salem, to greet voters casting their ballots. 

After an hour and a half drive, Emhoff arrived at Booneshine Brewing Co. — a local Boone brewery.

Emhoff ended the event by telling attendees about the record early-voting numbers in North Carolina.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, 18,430 Watauga County residents have cast ballots as of Oct. 25. Of that total, 14,461 have been during early voting. Emhoff said if people aren’t happy with what’s going on, they have to vote.

“People are showing up because they’re just sick and tired of the lies,” Emhoff said. “They want new leadership and they want to elect Joe Biden as your next president.”

Watauga County Commissioner Charles Wallin gives a speech before welcoming Douglas Emhoff to the stage during a early voting mobilization event held at Booneshine Brewery in Boone, N.C. on Oct. 26. (Jesse Barber)

Emhoff said the current administration’s handling of COVID-19 is the “most epic failure in the history of our country.”

Emhoff said if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected, their administration will enforce masks, social distancing and free, accessible testing with fast results while improving contract tracing and follow science for a vaccine.

In regards to the economy, Emhoff said Biden has a plan.

“We’re going to invest in small businesses,” Emhoff said. “Trump is focused on wealth, we need to focus on jobs and get manufacturing back in this country with American workers.”

Emhoff said Biden and Harris’ plans to build a clean energy infrastructure will result in millions of high-paying jobs.

“We’re going to win North Carolina,” Emhoff said. “We’re going to win around the country and we’re going to win big.”