The Herald’s endorsements

A recap of The Herald’s endorsements in four races: U.S. 2nd Congressional District, N.C. House District 51, Lee County Commissioners three at-large seats and Lee County Commissioners District 2.

Congress: Bob Etheridge is strong on military and health issues, weak on immigration. He’s great on agriculture, bad on pro-life issues. Great accessibility and being visible in the district, weak on explaining his questionable voting record. Great on education and the environment, bad on supporting small business and cutting taxes. Our support for Etheridge has weakened over time and is about ready to break. If Dan Mansell was a stronger candidate, we’d be ready to move in a new direction.

State House: Linda Shook is the rare candidate who’s much better at governing than campaigning. Her abrasive manner and defensiveness don’t endear her to her fellow commission members or voters. Without a softening of her approach, she’d be an instant pariah in the halls of the General Assembly.

Commissioners at-large: The seven-member Lee County Board of Commissioners has taken more heat from the voters in the last two years than in any time in recent memory. The leadership void, arrogance among some of its members and multiple fumbles with important issues have shaken the public’s faith in the board’s ability to effectively govern. The result, in part, has been a record number of candidates for open seats on the board, along with a rarity: a sitting chairman defeated in his party’s primary. Voters have a chance to begin to right the ship by putting Herb Hincks back on the board and adding former school board member Richard Hayes and retired Lee Paving executive Larry “Doc” Oldham to the commission.

Commissioners District 2: There’s no compelling reason not to put Amy Dalrymple in this seat. Not as a slight to her opponent, Harry Undy, but Dalrymple naturally has more of a vested interest in Lee County.

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