GOP chair: ‘Make your own decisions’
By: Jeremy Neal
This week is something a little different: Paper Bullets hosts commentary from guest writer Jeremy Neal, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party.
Neal’s accomplishments are many, too many to list. He’s a lifelong resident and has contributed greatly to our community.
Father, husband, son, businessman, and citizen volunteer, he gives freely of his time when a neighbor is in need. I am also told he cooks up a mean barbecue.
By every measure, he represents the best of Franklin County.
In November of 2013, he was inducted into the North Carolina Republican Party Hall of Fame. A prestigious honor rarely given, and reserved for those that by deed and action illustrate uncommon devotion to the conservative values our state and nation were built upon.
Other recipients of this award include Senator Elizabeth Dole, and Congressman Howard Coble.
From the pen of Chairman Jeremy Neal:
“Primary colors, family, friends and community”
Well folks, we have just completed one of the ugliest primaries this county has ever seen. With the voter turn-out around 25 percent, it showed who the real winners and losers are; the everyday citizens, because one fourth of the voting population ends up calling the shots for the seventy-five percent that stayed home.
Primaries are always tough, sometimes making you choose between friends or even between rivals. This year we got to see the real political machine rolling out at its very best. Party infighting split communities, and even some friendships were lost.
This primary, like no other, saw crossing of party lines.
It brought out friends, family members, allies, disgruntled employees, and enemies, all joining together to push their candidate of choice into the November elections.
A lot of money has been spent and more will be, some wisely used and some money just purely wasted.
Now with the primary over, many seats are settled for the next four years.
In Franklin County come November, there will be only a few real races to decide. With this limited draw, it again brings us to voter turnout or the lack thereof.
Serving as a party chairman means politics year-round, not just right at election time, and it also allows me to see the good and bad, and sometimes things that I wish could be handled much differently.
Many from both parties will work hard to get out the vote for their candidate of choice. With the effort of parties, candidates, PACs, and other special interest groups, it all comes down to the voter, or the lack of voters. I always tell candidates that signs, emails, phone calls, social media, and print ads are all great, but come the first Tuesday in November, votes are the only thing to be counted.
With great effort, over the next six months all of the above-mentioned are going to attempt to sway you over.
I encourage everyone to participate in the process, get involved and support your party of choice, even if it doesn’t start with an R, and pick who you feel will best serve all!
Yes, I will be working to support and elect certain candidates over others, I always have. I will also, as always, promote the vote, not just the candidates.
By sitting out and choosing not to vote in upcoming elections, you are really giving your vote and your freedom away. There are many, I refer to them as, “the powers to be,” that want to control the vote, lead you by showing you how to vote as if you can’t make that decision on your own. This reared its head again during the primary.
The public has picked up on these tactics and even some that have complained of it this cycle have been the very same ones to do it in past cycles or at least benefited from it.
Over the next few months there will be many chances to meet and learn about the candidates.
Take the time to learn all you can, question them, question those that try to steer you to or from a candidate, but form your own opinion.
Don’t just accept an opinion you are given. It defeats the whole process. Remember many have fought and died to give you the right to vote.
It is your duty to protect this for the next generation.
Elections are much more important than some give credit to and are so much more than a popularity contest.
Reading this, whether you like it or not, please take one thing from it: Go vote and make it “your” vote, make your own decision.
I would like to thank Neal for his contribution to the column and look forward to his future commentary.
The next time you happen to see Jeremy, please say thank you for stepping forward to serve.
It will not be hard to find him. He will be where people are that need help.
Most likely he will say “it’s no big deal, just doing what I can.” Well, my friends, it is a big deal. He is leading by example.
If you would like to be a guest writer in this column please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the editor, Gary Cunard at (919) 496-6503.
“Together we are many.”