06/22/08 — State Senate District 5 Democratic hopeful Don Davis holds rally

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State Senate District 5 Democratic hopeful Don Davis holds rally

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 22, 2008 2:02 AM

State senatorial candidate Don Davis arrived at Herman Park Saturday afternoon confident that Tuesday's runoff election will result in his name being on the Democratic ticket in November.

Speaking at the Uniting Wayne County Rally, Davis remained intent on winning the race against Kathy Taft for the chance at Democrat Sen. John Kerr's seat.

"We are extremely excited and there's a lot of energy still," he said. "My workers are reaching out, working hard.

"I am looking forward to Tuesday -- we're planning to win this."

It has been a campaign of "everyday people," Davis said.

"In general our campaign is a campaign of the people," he said. "We continue to have a diverse campaign that's brought residents of all walks of life and backgrounds together.

"We're staying focused on the need to strengthen our economy, improve schools, address health care, support farmers."

The current mayor of Snow Hill said he feels his background and experience -- in the military, education and working at the state level -- will continue to draw supporters to him.

"As residents understand the experience that we bring to the table, they are overwhelmingly coming on board the campaign," he said. "We'll continue to
connect to residents and take a message of hope that our government will work for the

In addition to the opportunity to hear Davis, the rally, sponsored by the Wayne County Committee to Elect Don Davis for Senator, also featured a free cookout and entertainment.

Len Henderson, co-field coordinator for the local campaign, arrived early to set up campaign signs with his grandchildren, Isaiah Henderson, 10, and Aliyah Henderson, 6.

The event, Len said, was designed as a "family friendly concept."

"This is a time to bring unity to the county, to the parties, also to unite Don Davis and Barack Obama," he said.

Mary Rhoe said she supports the candidate simply because "he's the right man."

In addition to being professional and educated, Davis is experienced, she said.

"The man is qualified and I'd like for everybody to know that," she said, adding, "I would like to see all races come together and get behind him."

Larsene Taylor of Goldsboro is secretary for UE-150, a state workers' union. She said she appreciates Davis' support of state workers.

"He's not just for one set of state workers but for all state workers," she said.

"I think from talking to him, he has a vision, a plan for the state. What he plans to do is make things better."

Wearing a "Don Davis for Senator" T-shirt, Bessie Yarb-orough said she plans to cast her vote for him because, "He's all about change and he cares about people."

"He's easy to talk to, he's not pretentious, he will listen to you," added Tonya Sampson of Goldsboro. "I just think that he's a sincere person so I'm very eager to support him."

Ms. Sampson said she believes Davis will look out for Wayne County.

"I know that he will provide the support that we need," she said. "He supports our area hospitals -- Cherry, O'Berry, Wayne Memorial. He also has ties here like (Wayne County native) Sen. Kerr did.

"He grew up here and Greene County so I know that neither one of the three counties would supersede the

Davis also had several family members on hand -- grandmother Edna Dixon and Diane Davis, his aunt and campaign manager, both from Snow Hill, and mom Pat Davis, who flew in from Irving, Texas, to be on hand for the election. Each expressed pride in his accomplishments, while pointing out one of his most endearing quality, his humbleness.

"He was not born a Rockefeller, he didn't come from old money," said his mother.

So when he chose to go to the Air Force Academy, she initially encouraged him to get a degree and work for corporate America, she said.

Admittedly surprised when he later expression political ambitions, she said she is most proud of him for how hard he has worked for everything he's accomplished. With two master's degrees and a Ph.D., he had a lot of career choices, Mrs. Davis said.

But instead, he's opted to help people.

"He once told me, 'It really
doesn't matter what I major in as long as I'm good at what I do,'" she recalled.