Lowe Succeeds Parmon

Lowe Succeeds Parmon
February 05
00:00 2015
Photos by Todd Luck. Above:  Earline Parmon and Paul Lowe at Forsyth DNC Headquarters.

Local pastor is now a state senator

Last Thursday night, a preacher became a politician as Rev. Dr. Paul Lowe Jr. was elected by the Forsyth County Democratic Party to replace N.C. Senator Earline Parmon.

Paul Lowe is sworn in by Judge Denise Hartsfield with his wife, LaGail, and Earline Parmon.

Paul Lowe is sworn in by Judge Denise Hartsfield with his wife, LaGail, and Earline Parmon.

Lowe was sworn in Sunday at Shiloh Baptist Church, where he has been pastor for more than two decades. He now represents the 32nd District, which Parmon represented since 2013. Parmon, who was state representative for the 72nd district for 10 years before her election to the senate, resigned her seat last month to take a job working for newly-elected U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC).

Local Democrats held the election to pick Parmon’s successor on Thursday, Jan. 29 in the gymnasium of Kennedy High School. Parmon was in attendance as Forsyth DNC Chair Susan Campbell presided over the vote.

“We know she’s irreplaceable, and whoever we elect tonight will have some very big shoes to fill,” Campbell said of Parmon. “She’ll always be our senator.”

Though a number of people had expressed possible interest in the position, only two were nominated. Joycelyn Johnson,  who represented the East Ward on the City Council from 1993 to 2009 before losing a re-election bid to current City Council Member Derwin Montgomery, was also in the running. She was nominated by Beverly McFadden; City Council Member Molly Leight seconded her nomination.

Johnson handed out fliers touting her experience and ideas. She said if elected, she would work with local officials to better the community.

“I ask for you to stay focused, stay focused on who will bring to you strength, wisdom, work in this community,” said Johnson.

Lowe was nominated by Constance Bradley and seconded by City Council Member Dan Besse.

Rev. Dr. Paul Lowe Jr. walks to the podium after his victory at Kennedy High School last Thursday.

Rev. Dr. Paul Lowe Jr. walks to the podium after his victory at Kennedy High School last Thursday.

“I am supporting Paul today because he will bring to this difficult task an especially strong and clear voice speaking for the needs for the people of Forsyth County and our state,” said Besse.

Before the vote, Lowe spoke, talking about how both he and his mother were able to go to college because of the Basic Education Opportunity grant, a component of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. He said he wanted to make sure everyone had the same opportunity. He mentioned his positions against school vouchers and support of expanding Medicaid.

“The emergency room should not be a plan for good healthcare, but there ought to be a healthcare system for all,” he said.

When he said “our seniors should not have to choose between eating everyday and buying medicine,” he drew applause. A promise to champion a minimum wage hike, which Parmon long fought for, also drew enthusiastic response.

The vote was decided by 105 Forsyth DNC Executive Committee members in attendance, all of whom are either precinct chairs, vice chairs, party officers, auxiliary chairs, elected officials and/or state executive committee members. In the end, they chose Lowe, 71-34.

Parmon wouldn’t say who her pick was, but said she was pleased with the outcome.

“We had two good  candidates that ran, and I think Sen. Paul Lowe, the newly elected senator, will do a great job to articulate and address those issues that have been important to the citizens of this district that I stood up for,” she said.

Lowe, a native of Seattle, has been an active Democrat since the 1960s, when he helped his father distribute campaign materials for candidates. A longtime party leader and official, he was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and 2012. He and his wife, LaGail, attended a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2012.

Lowe credited his victory to a campaign that focused on calls and mailings to local Democrats. He considers politics an extension of his work as pastor, as both professions help those in need.

“The need is so great,” he said. “I mean there’s a lot of hurting people in our community in the 32nd District and I wanted to try to be a voice for the hurting.”

Lowe said he is not daunted by Republicans’ firm control of the state legislature.

“Even though there’s a supermajority in Raleigh, that doesn’t negate that we have to try to speak for all, try to help all peoples,” he said.

Monday was Lowe’s first day in the N.C. Senate.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors