06/25/08 — Asking for votes: OK, now there’s a race. Wayne County wants answers.

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Asking for votes: OK, now there’s a race. Wayne County wants answers.

After weeks of waiting and months of campaigning before that, Wayne County’s District 5 State Senate race finally has two defined contenders.

... And all the hype and double-talking that goes along with such a contest.

So, while congratulations are in order for Democrat Don Davis and Republican Louis Pate, neither better rest on any laurels — not if they want to get voters in Wayne County this fall.

This is an important job with significant concerns for those who live and work not only in Pitt and Greene counties, but in Wayne County as well.

We won’t be electing anyone here who does not get that Wayne County is an important part of this triad — and who doesn’t give us defined plans for the future and specific answers to our questions.

So, as you both prepare your fall campaigns, keep in mind that pretty speeches and lots of vague answers — or titles — are not going to be enough to win votes.

Wayne County is on the verge of some good stuff, and we want representation that understands the needs of this community as well as the realities of doing business and growing a county in this economic climate.

And by the way, the same advice applies to anyone else who is planning on campaigning in this county this year — local, state or national.

Voters here are too practical and too smart to fall for slick when substance is demanded.

So, if as Don Davis says, he is “in the race,” good, let’s see him engage in some real discussions about taxes, education, roads, allocation of economic development dollars and opportunities and highways.

While talk of unity is great, we need someone with a plan to lead this region. Davis needs to tell us specifically how he plans to be that leader.

And if Louis Pate really has the experience this region needs to move forward, let’s hear how he plans to get eastern North Carolina the attention it needs — and what he has already done and plans to do to make that happen.

Past service is great, but it isn’t enough. Pate needs to step up and address the needs of this community with strength and wisdom and show us he has the determination to step up to the next level.

There is still time to reach voters here. There are lots of open ears and people who are thinking differently about how they will cast their votes this year.

But the time is past for pretty speeches. District 5 had a heavyweight at its helm. The next contender will need to have the same determination and focus.

Published in Editorials on June 25, 2008 11:13 AM