Democrats run off in 5th congressional district race

By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com

June 4, 2014

A run-off election will take place in the Democratic primary race for the 5th congressional district between candidates Gardenia Henley and Josh Brannon. Democrats and unaffiliated voters who voted on the Democrat ballot in the May 6 primary, and unaffiliated voters who did not vote in the May 6 primary, are eligible to vote in the run-off, scheduled for July 16.

In February, candidate Josh Brannon submitted a press release to The Yadkin Ripple stating he was a 36-year-old software developer from the Boone area. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the release, Brannon said that Virginia Foxx “has taken up the mantle of big corporations and her 1% donors, at the expense of the people’s rights, success, and health” and that he intends to “call her out on these harmful policies.”

“Ms. Foxx may do the bidding of multinational corporations and her millionaire contributors both in Washington and nationwide — I will answer to the people she has failed to serve,” Brannon said in the release.

Multiple phone calls and emails to Brannon for additional comments during both the primary election and now the run-off election have gone unanswered.

Gardenia Henley is a native of Forsyth County and had a lot to say about not only the upcoming run-off election, but also about her experience and ability to beat longtime incumbent Virginia Foxx in the November election.

“This election is very important to me because collectively, I have more experience than the other candidates running for Congress, which includes Virginia Foxx,” Henley said. “North Carolina and its economy and the military veterans need help now. We cannot afford to allow an inexperienced person to get elected into office.”

Henley is a decorated veteran of the United States Air Force and has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a Master of Science degree in taxation. She has served as adjunct professor of Taxation at Strayer University in Arlington, Virginia, and is a retired U.S. diplomat inspector general officer from the Department of State’s U.S. Agency for International Development.

“My 30 years of proven experience auditing and investigating legislation and legislators is important,” Henley said. “I can hit the ground running because I know my way around Capitol Hill all to well. I know how to write effective legislation that will produce positive results in the 5th district and in all of North Carolina.”

Henley said that voters ready for a change should cast a vote for her in the upcoming run-off.

“During this run-off election, if you do not vote for me you will be casting your vote for Virginia Foxx. In fact, people are being paid and bribed to make sure that I do not face off with her in November. I have more proven national and international experience than her and she also knows that I can defeat her in November. No one is going to filibuster with me or pull the wool over my eyes,” she said.

Support for her constituents and especially fellow veterans is one of most important things to Henley.

“There is more to Congress than just taking a seat in the house,” she said. “You must support the people and especially the veterans. I would like for the citizens in North Carolina’s 5th district to vote for me, someone who cares enough to have dedicated 30 years of my life in the government and in the military to serve you and never asked for anything but a vote in return so that I can continue to serve you. I am experienced enough, I am tough enough, I am Indian enough, I am Asian enough, I am Spanish, I am white enough and I am black enough, to fight for all citizens in N.C.’s 5th district. I challenge anyone to out work me on Capitol Hill. I am told, and I know, that I think clearly and quick enough on my feet especially when it comes to proper oversight of your tax dollars. I will stand up to Washington with a strong arm. I walk softly and my proven effectiveness is like carrying a very big stick. I was trained by the best, to bring about the best results.

“I will deliver more to you than what you have now when it comes to: oversight of our tax dollars, helping students who graduate with enormous student loans, getting the education system and it’s teachers on track financially, helping veterans get the financial and administrative benefits that they have earned, getting certain types of relief to farmers who need help, increasing the minimum wage, creating jobs for the unemployed and making sure that senior citizens do not lose the money that they worked so hard to put into the system.”

Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.