Wednesday, February 07, 2024

The Return of John Blust

 

Photo by Andrew Krech


John Blust was a member of the NC House representing a Guilford County district for some 18 years, until he decided not to run again in 2018. He had been an honest thorn in the GOP's backside -- emphasis on honest. In 2013, when Republican leaders were in the process of rushing through a bill to simply fire all the existing members of several important regulatory commissions and boards, John Blust stood up and shook his head: "I don’t like this idea. We have the power, but I wish we would be more careful with it." (John's brother David Blust served several terms on the Watauga County Commish.)

In 2015, when Sen. Trudy Wade tried to gerrymander the city council of Greensboro so Republicans could take over, John Blust blasted the bill in the House: "You all know it is wrong for a city of 285,000 to have a form of government put in place by one person." Ouch. Wade's manipulation bill got voted down in the House.

In April 2018, John Blust, who had already announced his projected retirement, stood up in a committee meeting and asked why the Devil Republican legislative leaders were even discussing seizing another appointment power from the Governor -- the right to appoint district and special court judges to vacated seats. “Why are we competent to make this kind of decision on appointing judges?” Blust asked. “Why do we want to take on one more thing that may not be an area we have expertise when we claim we have limited time, and we can’t get to so many important subjects because of that limited time?”

So John Blust has announced a return to politics, and he's already bucking like a maverick. Blust announced for the newly drawn HD 62 last November (leans Republican by 53%) and told the Greensboro News & Record that "his opposition to including casino authorization in the state budget and to the potential de-annexation of land in Summerfield by the legislature helped lead to his decision to run again." In other words, he'll be the death of Phil Berger's ultimate goal of putting more casino gambling in North Carolina.


Who's John Blust Running Against in the Republican Primary?

Britt Moore, an older gentleman and a long-serving at-large member of the High Point City Council, he boasts that he's the only candidate to be endorsed by retiring John Faircloth, whose Dist. 62 was redrawn. I'm guessing he may be the frontrunner.

Ann Schneider, an older woman and an Oak Ridge town councilperson and mayor. She's kind of transparent: "Other priorities she’ll be stressing on the campaign trail include parents’ rights, creating excellence in schools and providing North Carolinians more school choice – helping make schools 'free from political indoctrination.' ” Oh, okay. We see you.

Jaxon Barber, young, clean-cut, white guy, and "Above all else, I am a Christian." "It is time to pass legislation to end abortion at any stage of pregnancy." He actually says that on his website.

Michelle Bardsley, a middle-aged woman, "education leader and teacher with over 16 years of service in K-12 public education" (according to her website). She takes the same route as Ann Schneider above: "She has the commonsense to protect NC children from dangerous ideologies (CRT), indoctrination, and inappropriate sexual content in our schools" (Bardsley website). That bogeyman is just too handy!


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