Monday, September 10, 2018

Back to Union County

Frank Deese (in back, on left) and his family
I wrote about Democrats in Union County down-column, and some of the stand-out candidates for the General Assembly, but I missed someone else who deserves appreciation ... Frank Deese, who's running in the NC House District 55. My excuse for missing Frank is that District 55 covers only part of Union County and all of Anson County. A tough district, yes, but Frank Deese is a tough human being.

Deese has a powerful back story of personal redemption that illustrates why I love this country. Deese served ten years in prison for armed robbery, but he got his life together and came out of that experience to become ultimately the mayor of Marshville, where he's been reelected for seven terms.

From his website: "In December of 1989 I was paroled with $30 in my pocket and the clothes on my back. And as I walked out of what had been my home for more than 10 years, one thought in my mind permeated throughout my entire being: 'I am not going back there.' ”
"The rest of my life, from that point to today, I have set out to prove that we are not confined by our pasts and that we can always turn our negatives into positives. It wasn’t long before I went from hitchhiking to and from work until I could afford a car to starting my own tax business that allowed me the freedom to begin giving back to my community beyond what my conviction required. I became a Sunday School teacher in my church and counseled others to help them avoid some of my own pitfalls. Later, I began to donate my time and money to organizations like the YWCA, and, over the next few years, I was honored with several awards including the Governor’s Award for Volunteering from Governor Jim Hunt, the Union County Chamber of Commerce Minority Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Few Good Men’s Citizen of the Year Award."
Photo: Sarah Nagem, News and Observer
Deese is running against incumbent Republican Mark Brody, first elected to the House in 2012. At that time, Brody was trailing some baggage, to which he's added other baggage. When first elected in 2012 and as a "former general contractor," he had been sued several times for failure to pay for services and materials (shades of DJT!). He tried to dodge TV cameras and claimed the suits were "politically motivated."

In May of this year, Brody threw a fit on his Facebook page about the huge rally of public school teachers planned in Raleigh on May 16, painting his pique with a broad brush:
"Let’s call this what it is, Teacher Union thugs want to control the education process! I am speaking up because I don’t want Union County schools, and for that matter all NC school systems, to turn into Chicago. Let the Union thugs get their way now and we are half way there."
That Facebook outburst ushered in several days of back-peddaling.

Mark Brody is ripe for plucking.

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