Last updated: August 07. 2014 4:19AM - 504 Views
By - wbyerly-wood@civitasmedia.com - 336-835-1513

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Whether someone agrees with another’s viewpoint or not, elected officials, or potential elected officials, should make every effort to respond to requests for interviews and to respond to their constituents’ concerns and needs.

Unfortunately, Democrat Josh Brannon, who might be a great candidate for the 5th District U.S. Congress seat, seems to not feel the same way.

During the filing period for candidates and throughout the primary election season, even into the second primary, Brannon failed to return multiple email requests and phone call requests for interviews, and The Yadkin Ripple even reached out to Brannon via his campaign Facebook page and personal Facebook page. The results — no response. Not a form letter, not a “sorry I don’t like your views so I’m not going to comment,” not a call from a campaign representative. Nada.

All of the other candidates who filed for seats which represent the Yadkin County citizens quickly responded to requests for interviews and answers to questions so that we could relay their view points — whether we agreed with them or not — unbiasedly in the paper. This includes a candidate with a prior criminal history who was reluctant to speak to the press, but did anyway.

After hearing we were questioning why he didn’t respond to our inquiries, Brannon finally reached out to The Ripple in an email. His reasoning for not responding? “I’ve been told by multiple sources that the Yadkin Ripple is a mouthpiece of Civitas, Art Pope’s organization that promotes the interests of big corporations and the 1%, can you please clarify this for me? If you’re familiar at all with my message you probably understand why I’m in no way interested in participating in Mr. Pope’s and Civitas’s brand of politics,” Brannon wrote.

To clarify, The Yadkin Ripple and its parent company, Civitas Media, are in fact in no way affiliated with Civitas Institute, which Brannon is referring to. Instead the company chose the name Civitas to represent its community of citizens as a whole, not to pinpoint any specific political viewpoints.

Rather than respond to our initial requests and ask us point blank if we were affiliated with Civitas Institute, Brannon very unprofessionally ignored the inquiries altogether.

Brannon’s democratic opponent Gardenia Henley never failed to answer our requests and even took the time to call to verify the answers were received by the newspaper.

Whether Brannon is the best candidate to represent the 5th District will be up to voters to decide as he will face incumbent Virginia Foxx in the November general election. But we question whether he truly wants to represent the entire district, or just those in his political party who agree with his viewpoints.

We question whether he truly understands his district and its make-up, when as recent as a press release this week he calls the district “his mountain district,” when in fact it includes Yadkin and Forsyth counties, which are Piedmont counties with very different needs from the mountain counties in the district.

Even Republicans can choose to vote for Democrats during general elections, so it would be to his best advantage to respond to all media and constituent requests as he campaigns for office and to get to know all the communities in the 5th District so he will know how to best represent them all.

It is unfortunate he did not do that for Yadkin County’s citizens during the primaries. Now is the time for him to reach out to our communities if he wants to win our area.

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