By Olivia French, Staff Writer
November 9, 2012
While the race for president had been at the forefront of most students’ thoughts since the school year began, there was another important election that took place at the same time: the race for office right here in High Point and North Carolina at large.
This year was a tough race for Democrat Walter Dalton, Republican Pat McCrory and Libertarian Barbara Howe trying to win the spot succeeding Gov. Bev Perdue, who has decided not to run for a second term. Dalton has been the N.C. lieutenant governor since 2009, and McCrory spent a decade and a half serving as mayor for Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.
Candidates Dalton and McCrory met for three debates. While in the first debate, held on Oct. 3, Dalton was described as going “on the offensive” against McCrory, but by the final debate both candidates resorted to more subdued disagreements over taxes, education, healthcare and mental health.
Howe was not invited to participate in the debates.
McCrory won the election, easily beating Dalton and becoming North Carolina’s first Republican governor in more than 20 years.
In his campaign, which focused on change for North Carolina, he vowed to try to fix North Carolina’s “broken” economy and government, improve education and vote yes on Amendment 1, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
Locally, the race for High Point mayor was tough as well. Matthew Fowler Sr., Tammy Holyfield, Bernita Sims, Chris M. Whitley and Coy Williard all ran for the position.
On Oct. 18, Hollyfield withdrew from the race, citing a serious health issue in her family. Her name remained on the ballot. Fowler was also virtually nonexistent in the race, though his name did appear on the ballot as well.
The candidates were supposed to debate at an open forum at the Macedonia Family Resource Center, but were presented with a challenge when 25 candidates for city council arrived to present their views to the public.
Come Election Day, though, the public made its choice.
Sims won the mayoral election with 34 percent of votes. A High Point native and a member of city council since 2003, Sims served as mayor pro tem for a year, in addition to representing City Council and High Point in various affairs. She campaigned on the ideals of job creation and economic development, and fiscal responsibility. Sims will be High Point’s first African American mayor.