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Wed May 7, 2014
Residents in North Carolina’s District 12 Closer to Having a Representative
Stage finally set for NC's District 12 Congressional race.
There's now a Republican and a Democrat who will compete for the U.S. Congressional 12th District seat. Democrat Alma Adams won strong support in five of the six counties that make up the District. The North Carolina state representative was the only woman in a field of seven and led with 44 percent of the votes.
Long-time supporter Steve Bowden says he’s not surprised. “Alma, she’s supported people who need help, the voiceless. She helped raise the minimum wage when she was here, she helped kids who were ostracized in the system when she was on the school board", recalls Bowden. "Our community needs people who can lift them up, Alma lifts people up.” Since 1994, Adams has served in the state house representing District 58. State Representative Malcolm Graham came in a distant second with almost 24 percent of votes. He represents Mecklenburg County, District 40.
Last November, U.S. Representative Mel Watt resigned his seat to accept an appointment from President Barack Obama. He is now director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in Washington, D.C. Greensboro’s Glenwood neighborhood is in District 12. Residents like Steve Hyatt say they need a representative who will not get tangled in Capitol Hill politics. "Here I am 53 years old, I've worked all of my life. I get out of bed and go to work every morning and I struggle and I continue to struggle," he says with tears welling up in his eyes. Hyatt briefly looks past the campaign signs outside of Glenwood Presbyterian Church. For a minute he stares silently down the lush green tree-lined street as if looking for something. "Now everything's going up, gasoline, groceries and tougher and tougher that I feel like I'm never going to be able to retire."
Sadie Kneidel and her husband Matt McGuire walked to the poll from their nearby home. Matt gently rocks their month-old son, Robin, close to his chest. Sadie tends to their rescue poodle mix, Lucky. She says she's frustrated with the disregard she believes politicians have for their constituents. "Having a baby this year, the lack of Medicare expansion and North Carolina's lack of participation in the new healthcare act have been really hard on our family," says Sadie. "Decisions that are being made in government right now are totally out of touch with my reality and our attempt to survive as a family."
On November 4th, Republican Vince Coakley will challenge Adams. He was one of two Republican candidates for District 12 and easily beat Leon Threatt with 78 percent of votes. State Representative Marcus Brandon also ran on the democratic ticket. He finished 4th. As he conceded Tuesday night, he described party-mate Adams as a tireless candidate who he believes will ultimately win this seat.
“Our hope was to run a good enough race to keep the women out of it. But once the women’s group got into it, they got into it," explains Brandon. "It’s really a testament to how powerful women are in politics.”
If Adams wins this seat during the November 4th general election, the 67-year-old will become the state’s third female elected to serve in the U.S. Congress.