Hanes, Lowe eager to succeed Parmon

Hanes, Lowe eager to succeed Parmon
January 22
00:00 2015


The Forsyth County Democratic Party will pick the person who will complete the term of Sen. Earline Parmon – who was expected to proffer her resignation yesterday – on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Kennedy High School, 890 E. 11th St.

At least two high profile names have made it no secret they want the job.

Rev. Dr. Paul Lowe, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and a longtime Democratic Party leader and official, and State Rep. Ed Hanes, who won his second term in November as the 72nd District’s representative, are both eager to be chosen. City Council Member James Taylor, who lost to Parmon in the primary more than two years ago when she first won the Senate seat, is still mulling over the idea.

“I am offering myself to give service and to be a voice for this community for the 32nd district,” said Lowe, who has served as a delegate at the last two Democratic National Conventions. “Senator Parmon has been a great advocate for this community and for the 32nd district, and I would be honored to serve this district.”

Lowe said he wants to fight for North Carolina families by standing for jobs, education and health care.
“There has to be a continuous voice speaking for North Carolina families about these bread and butter issues,” he said. “I’m hoping that I can get the support that is needed to fight. I see it as an expansion of things that I’ve been doing as a pastor.”

Hanes said if given the chance by the committee, he would proudly serve.

“My intention right now is to accept a nomination. I’m sure the executive committee will make the right choice,” he said. “The most important thing you bring to the Senate is the understanding of the players and legislation.”

In the past, Hanes has touted his ability to work across the aisle with Republicans, but he says he has always stood squarely behind issues sacrosanct to Democrats.

“It seems that there is some thought that I didn’t support Medicaid expansion and that I voted in favor of the unemployment bill that cut benefits,” he said. “I’ve received calls from people within the party that have expressed that I need to make sure I represent myself on these issues. I support Medicaid expansion and opposed unemployment cuts.”

Hanes won Parmon’s former House seat when she made the move to the Senate. He said he stepped into a pair of very big shoes.

“She is a hero to a lot of people in this community. She ought to be held up as a hero to the entire Winston-Salem community for the efforts that she has put forth in the General Assembly,” said Hanes, whose seat would have to be filled by the same committee if he is chosen. “I was absolutely blown away by her leadership ability in that assembly in some very stressful and serious times. I thank her for laying a foundation and being there with some sound advice.”

Taylor, now in his second term as the City Council’s Southeast Ward representative, said he’ll wait and see.

“I did run for the seat in 2012, and we came up a little short. This is one of those positions where you have to let the people decide,” he said. “I will sit tight, talk to my family and hear from the community first.”

Taylor said that there is only one Earline Parmon.

“She will definitely be missed. They broke the mold when they made her,” he said. “She has fought for countless years for human rights, jobs, economic development and she has been an advocate for people. I don’t consider her to be a politician, but a stateswoman, someone who is genuinely concerned about people and does her job very well.”

Forsyth County Democratic Chair Susan Campbell said a meeting will be called to nominate someone to take Parmon’s place. The governor will ultimately appoint the nominee.

“We have a county executive committee and its made up of the precinct chairs, vice chairs, party officers, auxiliary chairs, elected officials and state executive committee members. It’s those people who live in that district,” she said.

She said that each person gets a vote and there will be campaigning in the form of nominating or candidate speeches before the body votes.

“We will go as many ballots as we have to go until we get (at least 51 percent) and that person’s name would go to the governor,” Campbell said.

Campbell and State Rep. Evelyn Terry, who said she doesn’t plan to throw her name into the hat, had high praise for Parmon.

“You know where she stands and you have to admire that kind of outspoken commitment that she has,” Campbell said. “She doesn’t play politics with issues but she is very straightforward. People come to her because they know she’ll help.”

Terry called her “an exemplary advocate for her constitutes since the day she stepped foot in the political arena.”

Only members of the County Executive Committee (precinct chairs and vice chairs, auxiliary chairs, State Executive Committee members, Party officers, and elected officials) are eligible to vote in the Jan. 29 election. For more information, call 336-724-5941.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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