Deborah Ross campaigns for U.S. Senate in W-S

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross speaks to attendees at Forsyth County Democratic Party Headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Deborah Ross campaigns for U.S. Senate in W-S
August 25
07:50 2016

Photo by Todd Luck



Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross campaigned in Winston-Salem, stopping by the Southside Library and Forsyth County Democratic Party Headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

Ross spoke to a small group of invited seniors at the library about Medicare and Social Security.

She promised to stabilize both programs. Medicare will be insolvent by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and Social Security Trustees predict the same will happen to that program by 2034.

“I care about making sure our seniors can retire with dignity,” she told attendees.

She hit her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr, on his support of increasing privatization in Medicare. She accused him of being influenced by special interests that contribute to his campaign. She said she would do things such as raise the limit on paying into  Social Security so that higher income taxpayers, like millionaires, contribute more, which she says would shore up the program.

At Democratic headquarters, she spoke to a slightly larger, diverse audience with larger, diverse audience with numerous black community leaders in it. Attendees included Forsyth County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Ellison, N.C. Sen. Paul Lowe, Clerk of Court Susan Frye, Judges Lisa Menefee and Denise Hartsfield, City Council Members Denise “D.D.” Adams, Derwin Montgomery and Dan Besse.

The race between Ross and Burr is extremely tight, with a Real Clear Politics average of polls showing Burr up by only 1 point. Ross also raised more than Burr in the second quarter, getting $2.1 million to his$1.6 million.

“People all over the country, they’re giving me money for the race because they want to take back the Senate and they know the road to taking back the Senate goes straight through North Carolina,” she said.

Burr still has a money advantage, with $7 million in cash on hand in June compared to $1.9 million for Ross.

Ross answered questions from attendees on a variety of topics. On mass incarceration, she said reform was needed to keep low-level offenders out of jail, and she promised to stand up to special interests like for-profit prisons. On poverty, she said she’d create jobs with infrastructure projects, and by taking tax breaks away from companies that export jobs, while giving them to companies that bring jobs to the United States.

Ross, a lawyer and former state lawmaker, mentioned her time working with the late Earline Parmon, when they both served in the General Assembly. She talked fondly about working together with Parmon, who she said she felt very close to.

Many have attributed the serious challenge Ross is giving Burr to Republican presidential nominee Donald Tump’s effect on down-ballot candidates. Polls are finding Trump to be trailing behind Democrat Hillary Clinton and to be disliked by voters.

Ross said that she believes that in her race, voters simply dislike Burr, who she says hasn’t been serving North Carolina. She said she expects to get dissatisfied Independent and Republican voters in November because the state is “on fire” for Democrats.

“We’re going to take the state back,” she told attendees at Democratic headquarters.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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