|Photo: High Country Press|
Counts already has a website and a Facebook presence. Game on!
The filing statement that went to the press yesterday lays the groundwork for what the elections of 2014 are going to be all about:
I am announcing my candidacy for the North Carolina House because I can no longer sit by and watch my beloved state wander down a path which is destroying the gains we have made in education, infrastructure, scientific research, job opportunities, and environmental protections.
Since the new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly took over control in 2011, and especially after they cemented that control with the election of Governor Pat McCrory in 2012, they have worked overtime to turn the clock back on every progressive program in the state that benefits working people, retirees, the poor, and others. Their budgeting priorities are aimed at helping the very wealthy at the expense of the hardworking people in our mountains. They have actually raised taxes on many goods and services that disproportionately impact low- and middle-income citizens while cutting corporate and higher-income taxes for the richest 5 percent of North Carolina taxpayers. It's Robin Hood in reverse. And it's wrong-headed.
At a time when unemployment was soaring in the state, the new majority in Raleigh cut the length and the amount of unemployment benefits being paid to those struggling for work. And in a spiteful act based on nothing but shameful partisan politics, they refused to extend Medicaid to some 500,000 North Carolinians, an extension that would have been 100% paid for by the Federal government for the first three years, and 90% paid for after that. These decisions are hurting the people least able to fight back. Furthermore, the failure to extend Medicaid is crippling, and in some cases closing, our rural hospitals. It is simply immoral to condemn our fellow citizens to preventable suffering and even to early death for lack of medical care.
Our current representative from House District 93, Jonathan Jordan, has voted in lock-step with the new majority in Raleigh. Instead of being an independent voice who stands up for the people of Ashe and Watauga counties, Mr. Jordan has been a mere rubber stamp for bad decisions and worse legislation.Counts' biography (also at the High Country Press link) reveals deep connections to both the farming community and to economic development initiatives in the mountains. She's widely known and highly respected.