Friday, March 09, 2018

An Exciting Democratic Primary Shaping Up in NC Senate District 16

North Carolina Senate District 16 was one of those redrawn districts ordered by the courts, and it's essentially a newly created district and an open seat in western Wake County (city of Cary) and considered "strong Democratic," according to the ratings of the NC Free Enterprise Foundation.

Two highly qualified Democrats have filed for the primary election on May 8th:

Wiley Nickel
Democrat Wiley Nickel, a former Obama staffer and an attorney, was first out of the gate, announcing back in May 2017. He has both a website and a Facebook page. Nickel describes himself as a progressive Democrat and "believes it’s time to focus on strengthening our public schools, creating high paying jobs, expanding access to affordable healthcare and protecting our environment. Wiley will lead the fight to protect a woman’s right to choose, push for stronger gun control laws and implement independent redistricting reform that takes the power to draw new legislative districts out of the hands of politicians." He graduated from Tulane with a degree in political science in 1998 and joined Vice President Al Gore's advance team and traveled with him to events during the presidential campaign of 2000. Following that campaign he earned his law degree from Pepperdine University in California. He joined the Obama campaign in 2008 and spent three years as part of President Obama's national advance team. He left the Obama administration in 2011 and started his own law firm in Cary, specializing in criminal defense. He's married with two children. Running for the NC Senate, he has his focus on ending the Republican supermajority that has thwarted Governor Roy Cooper at every turn and which has passed extreme laws which have been overturned in the courts (at every turn). The dictatorship of Senate President Phil Berger must be stopped! Nickel has been endorsed by 2016 Senate candidate Deborah Ross.

Luis Toledo and his family
Democrat Luis Toledo, the son of an Hispanic immigrant, has an inspiring story of upward mobility at a time that Hispanic immigrants have become a target of presidential prejudice and Republican hostility. Luis Toledo has both a website and a Facebook page. "He was raised by a single-mother, never met his father, and is the first in his family to graduate from college where he earned degrees in business administration, cybersecurity, and public administration." He has worked in both the federal government (Department of State) and North Carolina government (as an assistant state auditor). He was born in Houston, Tex., where his mother struggled and depended on food stamps and the social safety net to keep her head only slightly above water. She picked up "their few belongings" and moved the family, ending up in the small western rural town of Marion, where Luis attended the public schools and graduated from high school. He did well in school, opting to take college-level classes at the local community college while still in McDowell High School. He also worked two part time jobs. After the attacks of 9/11, Luis joined the military and spent four years on active duty in the Air Force. After earning a graduate degree in public administration, he joined the Obama Administration as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked in the State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton. In 2011, Luis and his family moved back to North Carolina, and he took a job working for State Auditor Beth Wood. "In January 2017, Luis joined the North Carolina Justice Center – a statewide nonprofit dedicated to economic and social justice and eliminating poverty across the state. As a public policy analyst, Luis conducts non-partisan research on the state and federal budget and assesses the role of public investments in our communities. His work informs major public debates and helps shape policy for the benefit of all North Carolinians."

Few Democratic primaries in North Carolina in 2018 encapsulate the progressive talent pouring into elective politics like this primary race in Wake County!

Republican Paul Smith ... oh, yeah, there's a Republican also filed to run for this seat, and maybe it's the curse of the last name, its commonness, or a sign of how strongly Democratic this district is going to be, but I can't find him anywhere ... no website, no Facebook page, no web presence at all.

1 comment:

Brother Doc said...

Thanks, Jerry, your individual articles on the candidates have been very informative--time to summarize where the races/primaries now stand in each house?